Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper. He identified the loaf of bread and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed.
Easter marks the end of Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.
Many controversies have arisen with respect to the dates of the Holy week and about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first Christians, Jewish and Gentile, were certainly aware of the Hebrew calendar, but there is no direct evidence that they celebrated any specifically Christian annual festivals.
By the later 2nd century, it was accepted that the celebration of Pascha (Easter) was a practice of the disciples and an undisputed tradition.
The Roman and Alexandrian churches continued the fast until the Sunday following, wishing to associate Easter with Sunday. Neither Polycarp nor Anicetus persuaded the other, but they did not consider the matter schismatic either, parting in peace and leaving the question unsettled.
It is not known how long the Nisan 14 practice continued. But both those who followed the Nisan 14 custom, and those who set Easter to the following Sunday had in common the custom of consulting their Jewish neighbors to learn when the month of Nisan would fall, and setting their festival accordingly.
The controversies were even more about the body of Jesus Christ. This possibility that the disciples stole the body of Jesus Christ and faked the resurrection has been raised by critics ever since Jesus rose from the dead. But it has never taken root except in some Jewish circles because the New Testament account does not support a faked resurrection theory. Some reasons were that one could not just walk into the tomb guarded by Roman soldiers and ask for Jesus’ body. So, in order to fake Jesus’ resurrection the disciples would have to obtain and dispose of the body of Jesus without any hostile witnesses seeing them do this. The arguments continued….
Whatever be the theories… whatever be the controversies… every single person who believes in Jesus still continue to do so. It’s the faith that counts. It’s much like the log you get when you are drowning in a river. Whether you are saved or not, comes second. The first thing is the faith that you hold on to for support…
Happy Easter Everyone… It’s a day to gather… It’s a day to remember your family, your beloveds and friends. Don’t worry about the controversies. As it is said in bible “Your faith will save you” (Luke 7:50) and you don’t need any explanation to abide by it. Just learn from your experience.