The true meaning of Easter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

As I look to this Easter holiday, I am beginning to wonder what ever happened to the kind of Easters we celebrated in the days of old. Back then the day was looked upon a few days in advance with Easter music on the radio and a variety of television shows pertaining to the holiday.

Songs like &uot;Easter Parade&uot; and &uot;Here Comes Peter Cottontail&uot; being played on the radio and TV put us in the mood to show off spring fashions with Easter bonnets while more religious songs like &uot;Christ The Lord Has Risen Today,&uot; &uot;In The Garden&uot; and &uot;Low In The Grave He Lay&uot; were sung by choirs in church services as early as Palm Sunday to put you in a spiritual mood for Easter.

A typical Easter Sunday would include women and men taking strolls in downtown Suffolk displaying an array of Easter outfits.

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Now time and tradition have changed the way we celebrate this holiday but in my opinion, one thing will never change and that is the last seven words of Christ and the seven T’s that they represent. These seven words are touching, transforming, tender, terrifying, trying, triumphant and trustful.

In our Sharing Bible Group at East End Baptist Church that meets at 10 a.m. every Tuesday we always come away with a new revelation. On Tuesday, March 15, Maddie Vann brought this piece for thought during Holy Week to share with the group that she clipped from a Mature Living Magazine about two years ago. In return I want to share it with readers:

Touching – &uot;Father forgive them for they know not what they do.&uot; Luke 23:34. Only five days after the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, He hung upon a cross. However, despite his great sufferings He called upon His vast reservoir of love and uttered a prayer for his executioners.

Transforming – &uot;Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise.&uot; Luke 23:43. This promise of individual redemption, without loss of time was made to the thief on the cross that repented. The second thief did not ask for any favors.

Tender – &uot;Woman behold thy son&uot; – Behold thy mother.&uot; John 19:26-27. Jesus thought of His earthly mother in His hour of pain. He showed His concern for human welfare. A concern that made His ministry the greatest the world has ever known.

Terrifying – &uot;My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?&uot; Mathew 27:46. This is one of the most intensively human utterances from the lips of Jesus. It voices the human anxiety in the middle of trials as to any aid from the Divine. These words are all the more remarkable when it is remembered that Jesus knew that He had to complete His earth mission by suffering and death.

Trying – &uot;I thirst.&uot; John 19:28. The last four utterances of the cross came as death drew near. From the human standpoint Jesus was thirsting because crucifixion created a pain and burning fever. From the spiritual standpoint His was a holy thirst for the salvation of the souls on the sea of life.

Triumphant – &uot;It is finished.&uot; John 19:30. Jesus knew that He was dying. Yet, on the brink of death, He called attention to the victorious climax of His Holy endeavor on the day rightly called Good Friday.

Trustful- &uot;Father, into thy hand I commend my spirit.&uot; Luke 23:46. Like a mighty benediction came the last word from the cross. The body was perishing but the spirit was with God. In the hearts and minds of the faithful those words live today, giving rise to assurance of the eternal comradeship of the human with the divine.

There is no greater love for mankind than this that God gave His gift of a Son to die on the cross for our sins. This is the true meaning of


Evelyn Wall is a regular columnist for the News-Herald. She

can be reached at 934-9615.