Student Spotlight: QM & BL Christian Union on why Christians celebrate Easter

Hear from the Christian Unions on why Christians celebrate Easter and the greatest love story ever told.

Clubs and Societies

What first comes to mind when you think of Easter.

Maybe you immediately think of hot cross buns. Maybe you remember a fun-sized rabbit. Maybe you first think of supermarkets chock full of chocolate eggs.

Yet, for millions of practising Christians across the globe, this is but a footnote in the grand scheme of Easter’s actuality. Easter is a sacred Christian observance commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, believed by Christians to have occurred on Easter Sunday following His crucifixion on Good Friday, as recounted in the Bible. During Easter, Christians commonly engage in solemn reflection, prayer, and joyful celebration of Jesus Christ's life, typically attending church services. Many gather with loved ones for special meals, marking the culmination of Holy Week, a period often marked by fasting and spiritual preparation.

QM and BLSA Christian Union have come together to share their thoughts on Easter and how some Christians on our Queen Mary Campus observe Easter.

Teni 
What does Easter mean to you?

Our culture has often made the spectacle of sacrifice as the ultimate show of love - the very notion of altruistic virtue is one which for centuries, has been glorified in several counts of literature and cinema. For Christians, it is our often referenced cause for celebration, that 2000 years ago, a man died. Not only did he die, but he subjected himself to death on a cross; an agonising execution designed for public humiliation, reserved only for the worst degenerates of Roman distaste. Yet a man who walked the earth blameless submitted himself to such pain and disgrace, with the primary consideration of love.  

And what’s more, three days later, this man rose from the dead, showed himself to hundreds of people, and promised that one day we will be reunited! A hallmark of emblematic victory, emerging from the embers of disarmed death. A victory for which several of those hundreds were slaughtered because they refused to renounce what they knew. A victory that 2000 years later, 2 billion people continue to cheer.  

A victory won by Jesus Christ, whose name is still sung across the nations. Whose presence is still breaking boundaries after His death. Whose impact is still changing lives.  

That is why this Easter, like several before and several to come, we celebrate him. That is why it’s more than just hot cross buns, bunnies and chocolate. 

That is why it is the greatest love story ever told. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share with the QMSU community about Easter?

There are lots of non-Christian and Christian sources that attest to the crucifixion as a real historic event. The majority of these sources are from the first or second century. 

There are at least 17 non-Christian historical sources that attest to the crucifixion of Jesus, including: 

  • Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian 

  • Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman citizen 

  • The Jewish Talmud 

Here is just?one source?for non-Christian historical sources!


For Christians, Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the saviour of the world, the third member of the holy trinity, the breath of God and the word of God in living flesh. 

The essence of God resides in all three aspects of the Trinity. Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit. When Jesus died on the cross, the essence of God did not cease to exist or operate during the time between His death and His resurrection. Furthermore, the spiritual nature of God is such that it does not become less by assuming a human nature in Jesus.?According to such thinking one orange plus one orange equals two oranges; three oranges less one orange equals two oranges, et cetera. That is the order of mathematical and material unity. However, the order of spiritual unity is different. God's love does not become less because it is given to people. His essence is not reduced or divided when it abides in the Son and in the Holy Spirit along with the Father.? 

The Easter season is a season of love and redemption!

Gustavo

What does Easter mean to you?

As a Christian, Easter is a reminder of the centre of my faith: Jesus’ death and resurrection. As Christians, we believe these events are significant because Jesus’ death - despite his lack of sin - covers for our own mistakes and shortcomings, while his resurrection means we too can have life after death, and that we can have redemption. For me, Easter is a time of gratitude for God’s grace (free and unmerited favour, because Jesus died even though we did not ‘deserve’ it); reflection on Jesus’ sacrifice (dying a horrible death after facing betrayal, ridicule, and anguish); and joy at the redemption that this offers. 

How do you celebrate? Are there any traditions you practice? 

Church is an important part of Easter for me. I will normally go with my family to an Easter service at my church, which will consist of worship, prayer, often communion, and a sermon related to Easter. Me and my family will then share an Easter meal, traditionally lamb (a reminder that in the Bible, Jesus is often referred to as ‘the lamb of God’). And yes, when me and my sister were younger, we did enjoy a good Easter egg hunt. 

Also, Lent (the 40 days before Easter) is a time of prayer and fasting to focus more on the importance of Easter. Traditionally this involves abstaining from meat products. However, many Christians believe that fasting can involve giving up different things depending on what we give the most value to, so over the past few years I have chosen to give up social media.  

Is there anything else you'd like to share with the QMSU community about Easter?

Whether you consider yourself as a Christian, a person of faith or not of any faith at all, Easter is for everyone. It is definitely a happy time for everyone - meeting with family, sharing a meal, Easter eggs etc! - but it is also a time to reflect on Jesus and the Easter story, and think about what it means to you. Parts of the story of Easter seem very grim - betrayal, crucifixion, haematohidrosis - while the crux of the Easter story, the resurrection, seems a bit hard to believe. As Christians, we believe this is a fitting expression of God’s self-sacrificial love, and we can be glad that Easter offers redemption for everyone.  

If you are interested to know more, why not drop into an Easter service at your local church? And why not read for yourself the story of Easter from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), the best accounts out there of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection? 

Finally, happy Easter to everyone, and I hope you all have a restful and blessed holiday :)

Matyl 
What does Easter mean to you?  

Easter is a very special time for me as I remember and celebrate one of the most important parts of my faith! 

It’s a beautiful story of love, the true and deep love of God that extends to every single person and the invitation to come and experience this for yourself! 

 It’s such good news for everyone regardless of who we are. Even though none of us are perfect, we all make mistakes and therefore have chosen to turn from God, we have hope because of Easter. We’ve all rejected God in different ways but He loves us so much that He’s given us all a way to be forgiven for this and to enjoy His blessing and love. 

 This is what we celebrate at Easter! We celebrate that we are forgiven because God Himself in the flesh (Jesus), came down to Earth and died in our place to pay for our sin, a price we could never afford. You might have heard the many things that Jesus suffered: He was mocked, beaten, betrayed, and ultimately killed for our sake. But thankfully the story doesn’t stop there! 3 days later He rose (resurrected) from the dead, as even death cannot contain the eternal God. And it’s because of this that we know we are forgiven and have life if we place our trust in Him! 

While this may just feel like a religious story, some crazy claims are made here, which if true, have a massive impact on us all! And if you’ve never investigated these claims before, why not take a look? This is why Easter means so much to me, and I can’t wait to celebrate the beauty of it again this year! 

How do you celebrate? Are there any traditions you practice? 

I love celebrating Easter by spending time in the presence of God and coming together with other Christians by going to church and sharing in prayer, encouragement, and worship with one another. 

Leading up to Easter Sunday, we prepare with a time of prayer and fasting during Lent which is a great way to reflect on what Easter means and why it’s so special to us, as well as spending some precious time with God! 

Being Lebanese, I also enjoy sharing in some traditions with my family like decorating boiled eggs and having a competition to see whose egg is the last to break! I also love making a traditional Middle Eastern sweet, called Maamoul, and celebrating a nice meal with my family on Easter Sunday! 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the QMSU community about Easter?  

Easter is such good news for everyone! Even if you’ve never properly thought about it before I would encourage you to explore it for yourself and why it’s such a big deal for us! 

Hope everyone has a blessed Easter <3

Olachi

What does Easter mean to you? 

Easter first and foremost is a love letter, written by God and addressed to humanity. In that letter, God pours out His heart for His creation, demonstrating that there is no depth that He won’t go to save us. It’s one thing for God to lay aside His glory and put on a human body, but now He’s being crucified despite doing no wrong? How can the God of the universe allow Himself to suffer such humiliation, without any protest or self-defence? What could possibly motivate such actions? Love. For ‘greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’ - John 15:13. But Easter doesn’t end in sorrow, it ends in joy. Jesus, God in flesh, is raised to life, defeating death and showing us that if we believe in him, we too will be raised. As I reflect on this message, I am humbled at the love of God, and motivated to love Him in return, and love those around me. 

 

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