Felix Raj, TT, 12 April: Christians all over the world, belonging to all denominations, celebrate Easter on April 16, which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The preparation for Easter starts with the Ash Wednesday, a day when the creation of man is remembered.
This marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a period of penance, fast and abstinence for 40 days. This is in fact a commemoration of Jesus's fasting in the desert for 40 days before He began his public preaching ministry .
At the end of Lent, the Holy Week begins leading to Easter Sunday. On Psalm Sunday, Sunday before Easter Sunday, Christians observe the royal entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. On Holy Thursday, they commemorate Jesus's Last Supper with His disciples. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and said, "you too wash one another's feet and love and serve one another as I do to you".
On Good Friday, Christians commemorate the sufferings, crucifixion and the death of Jesus Christ. It is a day of prayer and fasting, and many keep vigil in chapels and churches, waiting for the day of Jesus's resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Easter is the celebration of victory over death, a celebration of new life. The Easter holiday is one of the high points of the Christian religious calendar. It symbolises the ultimate victory of good over evil.
While for some Easter is a festive celebration of spring and new life, for many it is an important religious and spiritual celebration of Christ's victory over death. The power of Jesus's resurrection makes man incorruptible and new. It makes him strong and transforms him into a spiritual being. With the spiritual power one is able to recognise His footsteps as, "He comes, comes, ever comes," (Tagore).
As the famous philosopher, Teilhard de Chardin said, the resurrection of Jesus reiterates that "We are spiritual beings with a human nature, and not human beings with a spiritual nature."