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What’s the big deal about Easter?

Bishop Francis Aquirinus Kibira leads other Bishops in the procession for Mass (PML Daily PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Not a lot of people know this about Christianity but Easter’s actually a bigger deal than Christmas. That was the case at least until a few years ago when Christmas became more popular. So what’s the big deal about Easter?

The Jews understood the purity of God and his stance on sin, they knew that they deserved death for their sins. So God made them perform a symbolic killing through sacrifices instead of killing themselves. The Jews would have to transfer their sins onto a lamb which would then take on the role of a scapegoat.

The transfer was symbolic of when God Himself would come in the form of a man as Jesus and would give himself up to be the purest sacrifice almost 2,000 years ago. This is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity: all men have sinned and deserve death, but God took on death himself so that man could live. The thing is, without Easter, Christmas would never be possible. Easter is a solemn yet joyful time to remember God’s love for his creation and the sacrifice that cost Him.

The Holy Week

In Christianity, the week just before Easter is called the Holy Week. It is also the last week of the religious season of Lent. It includes the following days:-

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is a Christian feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. It commemorates Jesus’ voluntary entry into Jerusalem knowing full well that he would be crucified. When he entered the city, he was greeted by the people who placed palm leaves on the ground in front of him while he rode a donkey. This was later found to be a symbol of his prophesied return in Zechariah 9:9. Most Christians celebrate the day with the blessing of palm leaves or other branches which they bring to Church.

Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday aren’t exactly commemorated anymore by most denominations. Holy Monday is remembered in the story of the anointing of Jesus at Bethany (John 12:1-11).

Holy Tuesday is when the events of the Last Supper and Peter’s denial of Jesus took place.

Holy Wednesday remembers the story of Judas arranging his betrayal of Jesus with the high priests, this is why it is also called Spy Wednesday.

Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his Apostles. On this day, Jesus gave Christians the institution of Communion and washed the 12 Apostles’ feet.

Good Friday is generally a sombre occasion and is remembered as the day when Christ was nailed to the cross and killed.

Christians carrying the cross from Mukono District offices to Kauga Prison. (PHOTO/ELIZABETH NAMAJJA)

Most Christians fast on this day and congregate at Church to remember the death of Jesus.

On Holy Saturday, the Church waits in prayer, meditating on his Passion and Death and on his Descent into Hell, and awaiting his Resurrection. Some denominations go to Church for the Easter Vigil, which runs through the night past midnight.
This marks the end of the Holy Week and the next day is celebrated as Easter, the day of Christ Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

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