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Easter is the annual celebration of the resurrection (the rising from the dead) of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus's resurrection is the defining event of Christianity.

The Easter holiday is a very busy time in the Christian church. So much so, in fact, that many people (including many Christians) can get a little lost in what is happening and why it is happening! What follows is a quick summary of Easter significant events celebrated by many churches today:

    The Easter Sunday celebration is often preceded by the forty days of Lent, and it can often be followed by the forty days until Ascension Day.

    Lent is a traditional time of fasting and preparing for Easter. Lent begins at Ash Wednesday, when ashes are sprinkled on the heads of penitent people (people who are sorry for the wrong-doing in their lives, and who want to change their lives for the better). The ashes are a mark of humility before God, of contrition (a sincere remorse for wrong-doing), and mourning (mourning because wrong-doing separates us from God).

    Ascension day celebrates the rising of Christ into heaven. It always falls on a Thursday, exactly 40 days after Easter. After Jesus's resurrection, he appeared to many (maybe you recall his meeting with the disciple formerly known as 'Doubting'-Thomas??). Jesus' ascension into heaven ended his presence with us on earth until his next coming. As you can see, Easter is not a one day celebration, but rather it is a long, thoughtful remembrance of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord.

    The week before Easter Sunday is the last week of the life of Christ. This week is called Holy Week. Holy Week events are:

    • Palm Sunday, which celebrates Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem
    • Maundy Thursday, which recalls the Last Supper
    • Good Friday, which is mourned as the day of our Savior's death
    • Easter Sunday, a celebration of our Lord's victory over the grave by his resurrection from the dead!

Whew! I told you this was a busy time!

For those out there who always wondered why the date of Easter is different every year, here is the reason:

    Since the first Nicene Council, AD 325, the date has been fixed as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after March 21 (the spring equinox). Therefore, the earliest possible date of Easter is March 22; the latest is April 25. The date of Easter roughly matches the date of the Jewish Passover.

Rev. Jim Sheldon wrote an Easter series of sermons on the 'Mountain Experiences' of our Lord, and he asked me to do art for the Sunday morning worship service bulletins. The art for each is shown below. I hope that you like them, and more importantly, I hope that you think about what Jesus did for you and me about 2000 years ago.

Lent 1

First Sunday of Lent

Climbing the mountain of temptation

Jesus is tempted by Satan. (Matthew 4:1-8)

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.'

Jesus shows us the way to overcome 'mountains' of temptation.

Lent 2

Second Sunday of Lent

A Mountain of a Lesson

Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 4 - 8)

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them...

Jesus shows us the way to overcome 'mountains' of temptation.

Lente 3

Third Sunday of Lent

A Mountain of a Meal

Jesus feeds the 5,000 on the mount. (John 6:3-15)

Then Jesus went up on a mountainside....Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. ...They gathered [the pieces] and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

The great providence of Christ.

Lent 4
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Fourth Sunday of Lent

The Transfiguration of Jesus

Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a high mountain -the Transfiguration. As Moses was in glory, now Christ. (Matt 17:1ff)

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

The Mountain of glory is shown through Christ.

Lent 5

Fifth Sunday of Lent

The Mountain of Worship

Jesus promises the Samaritan woman more than a mountain. (John 4:20-21)

Jesus declared, Believe me woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

Acceptance of the Mountain of worship for all.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

The Mountain of Challenge

Jesus goes up to Jerusalem, located on a hill. He 'climbs its hill,' as Jesus approaches his trial. (Luke 19:28-44)

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen...

Climbing the 'mountain' of extreme challenge and fear.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

God's Final Yes

Since Jesus went before us, we may now climb 'Mt. Zion' into the presence of God. Our sinful self ended on the hill of Calvary; our new self started with his resurrection. (Romans 6:4 and Hebrews 12:12)

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.

Standing on the 'mountain of glory' because of Christ.


All the images are copyrighted © 2010 Scott McDaniel. Reproductions ARE allowed!!