TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — When you think of Easter, many traditions might come to mind. You might think about egg hunts or getting candy in an Easter basket. But why is Easter celebrated by so many people?
“It’s most known for the resurrection of Christ,” said Fr. Michael G. Schwarte, Priest in Charge of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. “It distinguishes Christianity from any other world religion.”
Schwarte serves as an adjunct professor at TROY where he teaches a world religions class. He also serves as a minister at the St. Marks Episcopal Church. Schwatre says even though Easter is on a Sunday, the celebrations begin a few days before.
“In the Christian world, we celebrate the Maundy Thursday, or the Catholic church calls it Holy Thursday, and it commemorates the last supper of Christ.”
Schwarte says during this last supper, Christ took the time to wash his disciples feet, and gives them a mandate to live by.
“The mandate is, ‘love one another as I have loved you,’ then He shows that as He died on the cross,” Schwarte explained.
Schwarte also says the reasons Christians celebrate Easter makes Christianity unique from any other religion.
“Historically, we believe that our supreme messiah figure, Jesus, died physically, the on the third day, rose physically from the dead.”
Schwarte cites a few historical books, including “The Resurrection of the Son of God” by agnostic author N.T. Wright as reasons the resection of Jesus is impactful, even today.
“He cites many different non-Christian sources that would say, and he says this, beyond a shadow of a doubt, there was a man named Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who had a huge following, who did miracles, and he died a terrible, bloody death on the cross,” Schwarte said.
Schwarte says while the resurrection has already taken place, there is still a job for Christians.
“Most every church believed Jesus will come again one day, but until then, we’re called to help other people, to love god and love our neighbor.”