Tuesday, March 19, 2024



Imagine it is one year after the time when Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah long awaited, had died on a Roman Cross and had risen from the dead. You are in Jerusalem, part of the infant Church with the Apostles themselves present. And along with the Apostles are many other eyewitnesses to whom the risen Christ, in transformed human nature that is now immortal, completely free from even the possibility of death, had appeared and proved himself alive again “by many infallible proofs.” And what a year it has been.

Before you met them Peter, James, and John, and the other Apostles had experienced great trauma on the Friday in which Jesus died. Indeed, from the previous night until well into the day after the Sabbath, they were in fear, and believed that all of their hopes had failed completely. Before those days, the Lord Jesus had told them several times that he would suffer many things, be handed over to the gentiles, mocked and spat upon, be put to a cruel death by crucifixion, and would rise again on the third day. If they had heard his words on those occasions, it would have made the darkness of their Rabbi’s Passion and death sorrowful but not seemingly hopeless. But before the fact of seeing him risen from the dead, they could only hear and understand so much, and no more.

You are part of the Church in Jerusalem, and it has yet to branch out into the rest of Judea, and Samaria, and yet to begin spreading throughout the whole world. The Church is your community. Everyone in it looks after one another’s needs to the point where no one calls the things he owns his own property. It has become commonplace among your fellow believers to see the power of the Risen Lord demonstrated by signs and wonders, miracles of the Holy Spirit through not only the Apostles, but others in the Church as well, such as a deacon named Stephen.

It is Spring, and it is once again the time of the Passover. You are in Jerusalem, a Jewish disciple of Jesus. Passover is no longer only the freedom of your ancestors from slavery in Egypt. Passover is now the Feast of the Messiah having freed mankind from its slavery to sin and death.

Passover is now much more than it was before this fulfillment. That is the origin of our Feast, no matter what false history you may have heard. No wonder almost every language other than English uses a form of the word Passover for what we call Easter.  RH+


Anonymous said...

Thoughtful observation

Anonymous said...

What should we call Easter instead?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I am not suggesting that we not call it Easter. I just want people to not be fooled by false historical narratives.