Fifty Days of Easter

Easter isn’t just one and done. The resurrection of God’s Incarnate Son Jesus changes everything. It is the beginning of the new creation, and Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. The early Church called Easter Sunday, Pascha, the same word for Passover. After baptizing Jesus, John the Baptist declared: “Behold, the Lamb of God” (1:29) to his disciples, who left to follow Jesus. When Jesus, the spotless Lamb without sin, was crucified by Roman soldiers on the Day of Preparation (according to St. John’s gospel), the day when Passover lambs were slain, He became the blood sacrifice who would save Jews and Gentiles from sin, death, and the devil.

After Christianity was no longer an illegal religion, church buildings began to be built. Early baptismal fonts were either cruciform (cross-shaped) or octagonal (eight-sided). Those adults and children being baptized took off their clothing, were baptized naked, and then were clothed in a new white robe, signifying their new life in Christ. The cruciform fonts declared that Baptism is always into Jesus’ death and resurrection. Octagonal fonts declared Baptism is the new creation that began on the eighth day, the day the Lord Jesus rose from the dead.

When we are baptized into Christ’s death, the blood of Christ is spread over the lives of the baptized, and the angel of death will now pass over us forever. Just as Christ Jesus is risen from the dead, so will those who have been buried with Him in Baptism. Just as the Lord God freed Israel from bondage in Egypt and brought them safely through the water to be His redeemed people, so Baptism into Christ’s death frees the baptized from slavery to sin, death, and the devil, and we are raised to be His own forever. Just as the Lord God fed His people with manna in the wilderness on their journey to the Promised Land, so He now feeds us with the true Body and most precious Blod of Jesus, the Bread of Life (see John 6:51ff.), as we pass through the wilderness of this life to the Promised Land, a new heaven, and a new earth (see Rev. 21)!

We celebrate Easter, the queen of seasons, for a week of Sundays, and these fifty days culminate with the celebration of Pentecost, the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of Christ’s one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Join us each Sunday in Easter and joyfully proclaim the Church’s victory cry: “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”