Our View: Easter is Christian faith’s cornerstone

Mar. 31, 2013 @ 02:13 AM

Easter is the foundation of Christianity and Christians’ faith in their risen savior Jesus Christ. Today,  those believers pause to remember their Lord’s sacrifice on the cross at Calvary and his Resurrection.
Just as Easter is the bedrock of Christianity, freedom of religion is a fundamental right in the United States of America. Christians are free to practice their faith, and so are Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and adherents of other religions.
Freedom of religion is one of the things that makes this nation so different — and of course, so great. And as long as followers don’t corrupt their religious teachings and use them as excuses for hatred, violence or harm, then all people should respect the rights of others to hold their own religious views. To do otherwise threatens freedom of religion for us all.
Today, the focus for all of Christianity is on the cross — and the empty tomb. Those two images spawn in Christians immense feelings of rebirth and renewal. There’s a comfort in knowing that through the cross and the empty tomb that their sins have been forgiven because of Jesus’ sacrifice. It’s a time for Christians the world over to rejoice in the risen savior’s triumph.
In honoring this day and in respect for Christians who celebrate Easter today, we print below part of the Bible’s Easter story:

He has risen from the death
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the woman, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here: He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay, then go quickly and tell His disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.’ Now, I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His disciples. Suddenly, Jesus met them. “Greetings,” He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20.

Jesus appears to Thomas

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
A week later, his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:24-29