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Remember What We Celebrate at Easter

As we enjoy the Easter weekend, it’s an important time to take a moment away from studying for final exams and wrapping up final projects, a time to reflect on what this holiday means, a time to remember that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and rise from the grave three days after He was crucified. It’s a time to give thanks for our salvation. Today’s blogs ask students to reflect on key questions they ponder at this most important time on the Christian calendar.

Photos by Maddi Sullivan

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Easter has Changed from those Sweater Vest Days

By MASON ARLEDGE

As a kid, sweater vest and all, I, along with my immediate family and cousins, would always venture over to my grandparents’ house on Easter and eagerly await the hunt for plastic eggs.

We especially sought out the large egg, the golden prize specifically marked with our name, that our grandparents filled with a dollar bill.

Every Easter, we would also move the wooden bench to the front lawn and snap family photos.

Now, I don’t eat candy, and the thrill of hunting Easter eggs has made me realize how weird it is to have kids search for plastic objects from a chicken passed out by a bunny.

Those in college experience change and growth in many areas, including how they celebrate holidays as they mature into adulthood.

Even though I no longer carry a basket, the values of Easter remain unchanged, specifically the importance of family.

Last year, I missed out on the family celebration since I lived a few states away, marking the first time I had skipped the photo, although I look forward to joining this weekend.

In a few years, I may very well be off on my own, but even then Easter will still provide a vital reminder of the love and power of family.

It will also continue to remind me of my reason for living and the greatest gift and sacrifice I’ve received: Jesus Christ.

On the first Easter weekend, Jesus offered his life on the cross and then rose again three days later, conquering death and offering life in the process.

He offered us a spot in his family, a place on his wooden bench for the family photo.

While many things surrounding the celebration of Easter may change as I age, no matter how old I get, that hope and message will cling close to my heart.

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Christmas/Easter Churchgoers Affect Perceptions

By McKENZIE SHEEHY

Easter is so many Christians’ favorite day at church, but for some, it’s one of the only days of the year they attend.

Primarily Easter and Christmas churchgoers have even been pinned with the name ‘ChrEasters.”

We know these people, maybe we are these people, but have we ever stopped to think of how it affects not only us, but non-believers looking in?

If people believe that Christians only practice what they preach two days of the year, then how are they going to ever know or open themselves to the truth and love of God?

Feeling forced to attend church on these two days can have an effect as well. If you grow up with the idea that these are the only days that really matter in the Christian faith, the rest of the teachings are offset by your own perception of how personal faith traditionally operates.

While you can, and should, love and worship God and the resurrection of Christ in any setting, sharing this love in the group setting of the church is a different experience.

While the idea of “ChrEasters” can be discouraging, as church members, church leaders and fellow Christians we are to be welcoming to everyone of every background who walks through the door.

Easter and Christmas are influential days that not only shape the lives of current Christians, but continue to be the launchpad and light that God uses to bring so many people to the truth and life in Christ.

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It’s not about Eggs and Chocolate, it’s about Christ

By JACK GIENKE

How did the most important religious holiday of the year come to be seen as a holiday just to get together with family, celebrate springtime and gobble up candy that a large rabbit left for you?

 

 

It seems like the chocolate and greeting card companies figured out how to warp the deeply meaningful holiday of Easter into just another day to buy decorations and gifts.

Walk into any large scale store or watch commercials on TV for a few minutes and you will know what I’m talking about.

Even fast food companies take advantage of Lent to hawk their fish sandwiches.

For those not affiliated with religion, this may not be a big deal. After all, it’s another time for families to come together, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But for those who know the deeper, true meaning of Easter, it can be a little bit depressing.

Sure, plenty of people who don’t go to church on a regular basis make the trek on Easter morning, but I think that anyone would be hard pressed to say the holiday has not become more of a secular money-making mainstay.

I don’t think Christians need to rise up and try to take back our holiday from the large companies, but I think now more than ever, it is important for Christians to remember the monumental importance of Easter.

I’ll admit it’s easy to get swept up in the secular side of Easter — it has happened to me on occasion — and that is why it’s crucial to focus on the ultimate sacrifice that a loving and caring savior made for every single one of us.

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For Me, Easter is a Horrific and Beautiful Love Story

By O’LIVIA BOWLES

In the American secular culture, Easter looks like bright colors, big fluffy bunnies and Easter egg hunts, but Christians see Easter as so much more. It is a day dedicated  to celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For me, Easter looks like a horrific love story.

Imagine having a loved one about to be put to death, but because you love them so much you are willing to sacrifice your own life so that they can live.

You’re arrested and brought to a place where you are blindfolded, mocked and spat on.

With no remorse, you are then stripped of your clothing and tied to a post. All of a sudden, heavy blows of leather and lead balls cut across your back, legs and shoulders, cutting deeper and deeper each time.

After being untied from the post, long ribbons of skin hang from your back and the entire area is now an unidentifiable mass of torn, bleeding tissue.

In mockery, a robe is thrown across your shoulders and a stick is placed into your hand for a staff. Long thorns are plaited into the shape of a crown and pressed into your scalp.

A cross weighing about 300 pounds is then tied across your shoulders and you are forced to walk miles on a rocky dirt road, leading you to Mount Calvary, where you will be crucified.

This is a vivid picture of what Jesus experienced on His journey to Calvary.

Because of His love, our sins are washed away and we were granted a second chance to live.

I am convinced that the love Jesus has for all humankind is the true reason we celebrate Easter.

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