12.5.4 Easter

This feast is a commemoration of the fact that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus Christ took place on the first day of the week, on Sunday. Therefore the early Christians celebrated Holy Communion in remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection on the first day of every week. Later on, a specific Sunday–in the Western Church the first Sunday following the first full moon in spring–was chosen to mark the annual celebration of the feast of Easter.

Jesus' resurrection took place without any human witnesses. It is a miracle and a mystery. Holy Scripture, however, gives account of many who saw the Risen One. Immediately after His resurrection, He appeared to Mary Magdalene and other women, to the Apostles Peter and John, as well as to the two disciples on their way to Emmaus. On the evening of the day He resurrected, Jesus came and stood in the midst of His Apostles. Furthermore, Apostle Paul spoke of over five hundred brethren who had seen the Risen Lord (1 Corinthians 15: 3-7).

The resurrection of Jesus Christ has been proclaimed in the teaching of the Apostles right from the start as the core element of the gospel. It is the foundation of hope for life eternal. Jesus Christ made it possible to undo both death and mankind's separation from God. Belief in the resurrection of "Christ the firstfruits" from the dead is the basis for our belief in the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the transformation of the living upon His return.

See also