Tag Archives: Christ-centered Easter

Easter with Esther

23 Mar Easter with Esther @BroSimonSays
Easter with Esther @BroSimonSays

Easter with Esther @BroSimonSays

I don’t want to pretend to be any kind of an authority on what I am about to share; I just want to post a couple of thoughts that I had about something significant that I noticed on my calendar this week. I’ll try to keep it brief and to the point.

As I was looking at my Google calendar, I noticed two different Jewish and Christian holidays (Holy Days) this week–Ta’anit Esther (Fast of Esther) and Easter. At first, both “holy-days” just seemed to sound the same (Esther and Easter), but the thought quickly occurred to me that they are a lot more alike than just in name.

You see, the Old Testament contains images, symbols, and teachings about the Lord Jesus Christ and His role as the Savior of Heavenly Father’s children. An ancient apostle of Jesus Christ, Matthew, had a great understanding of the Old Testament and was able to see in every detail of the Lord’s life the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. His Gospel was written for the use of Jews in Palestine and uses many quotations from the Old Testament to show that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

So, as a Christian, I have been taught to study the Old Testament with this thought in mind: “The message of the Old Testament is the message of Christ and his coming and his atonement” (Marion G. Romney, “The Message of the Old Testament,” A Symposium on the Old Testament, p. 5). Consequently, when I study the Old Testament I see Jesus Christ in the persons, objects, sacrifices, events, places, etc. (Click here for a quick list of some examples from the Old Testament. See also 2 Nephi 11:4 (2-6)Mosiah 13:28 (27-32); Alma 25:15-16; Moses 6:63).

When I read the story of Esther, I see Jesus Christ with His love, grace, sacrifice, and Atonement. To me, Esther is a wonderful type and foreshadow of Christ!

Queen Esther Saves Jehovah's People, by Sam Lawlor

Queen Esther Saves Jehovah’s People, by Sam Lawlor

This week our brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith will observe the Fast of Esther and the Feast of Purim. As they do so, they will remember a time of temporal deliverance and salvation.

This week our brothers and sisters of the Christian faith will observe Easter. As they do so, they will remember their eternal deliverance and salvation.

The Resurrected Christ, by Wilson J. Ong

The Resurrected Christ, by Wilson J. Ong

 

The holy-days related to the events of Esther and Easter don’t always fall within the same week (see below), but to me they definitely tell the same story–the greatest story ever told–a story of faith, hope, charity, service, sacrifice, salvation, and more. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son!

Sidebar: I was curious as to how often the holy-days related to the events of Esther and Easter occur within a week of each other. After a little bit of research, I found that from 2016-2049 we are able to celebrate “Easter with Esther” on the following years:

Thu Mar 24 2016 Purim
Sun Mar 27 2016 Easter Sunday

Sun Mar 24 2024 Purim
Sun Mar 31 2024 Easter Sunday

Tue Mar 23 2027 Purim
Sun Mar 28 2027 Easter Sunday

*Sun Mar 25 2035 Purim
*Sun Mar 25 2035 Easter Sunday

Thu Mar 26 2043 Purim
Sun Mar 29 2043 Easter Sunday

Thu Mar 22 2046 Purim
Sun Mar 25 2046 Easter Sunday

(http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/purim http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/easter-sunday)

EASTER: Creating a Christ-centered Celebration

18 Apr

There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection. ~ President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Dec. 2000.

It may seem strange to consider at first, but after pausing to ponder we come to realize that Christmas would be meaningless without Easter. As important as the divine and miraculous birth of Jesus Christ was (and still is), it would be in vain without His redemptive, atoning sacrifice that shattered the chains of death with a triumphant resurrection (To study more about the Resurrection, CLICK HERE). Perhaps that is why our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson has said:

“No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when, on the first day of the week, they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord. Spoke the angel: ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.’ ” (“He Is Risen!” Apr. 2010 General Conference)

He is not here: For he is RISEN

He is not here: For he is RISEN

Fortunately, Easter has not become nearly as commercialized as Christmas. Yet it still seems that we are distracted just enough by the little Easter Bunny and his baskets of goodies that we go running off in the wrong direction–like Alice chasing the White Rabbit into Wonderland. I like what the Church has said on this matter. To me, it expresses the proper balance and perspective we need to maintain.

Some LDS families include Easter bunnies and eggs in their family festivities for the delight of children. Such traditions are not officially discouraged, though they have no religious significance to Latter-day Saints. The focus of the holiday is religious. For Latter-day Saints, Easter is a celebration of the promise of eternal life through Christ. They share the conviction of Job: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25-26). (https://www.lds.org/topics/easter)

The purpose of this post is to provide you with some resources that can help you make sure that the Bunny does not eclipse the Savior this Easter. These resources are all provided by the Church free of charge, and with the hope that we will use them and share them with others.

The most recent news from the Church came today, with and invitation to view the Messiah concert online throughout the Easter weekend. CLICK on the picture below for more information on viewing this inspiring concert.

View Messiah Concert Online throughout ‪‎Easter‬ Weekend! The Messiah concert will be streamed live on mormontabernaclechoir.org/messiah beginning at 7:30 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Friday, April 18, and will be available to play through Monday at 11:59 p.m.

Easter Music

Music is a great way to worship and remember. Hymns, children’s songs and musical performances all contribute to the wonderful spirit of Easter. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir as created a marvelous playlist of Easter music on YouTube that you can enjoy and share online. I like to let it play in the background as I work in the office.

Easter Teaching Resources

and Lesson Ideas

The Church has also produced correlated material that can be used for children, youth, and adults containing stories, activities, media, and articles to enrich your life and lessons.

Prophetic Teachings of Easter and Resurrection

For those who want to experience an in-depth study of Easter and the Resurrection, the Church has created a colossal list of resources that can be studied at the following link: RESURRECTION

#Because Of Him

Nope. The # sign is not a typo. This week the Church released a couple new Easter videos and began a social-network Christ-centered Easter initiative called, #BecauseOfHim (To learn more about this initiative and get related material, CLICK HERE). You may want to visit your favorite social networking sites and search for #BecauseOfHim to see what you find. Way more inspiring than an egg hunt!

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 7

Easter E-cards

Another way to help your family and friends focus on the Savior is to use the E-cards that the Church has produced for sharing on your social-networks and through email. These E-cards are a great resource and are easy to share! Try it now!!!

Easter Memes & Images

There are also many Easter memes that the Church has created that can be shared easily online. People are very responsive to gospel-centered memes and messages during the holidays (Holy days). This is a great opportunity to share in the sharing during the Holy Week!

BibleVideos.lds.org

As you are probably already well aware, the Church has also created a vast library of BibleVideos that are very powerful. A number of these videos are particularly relevant during the Easter season. Here is a list that you may want to view and share this week:

Mormon Channel YouTube Easter Playlist

The Church has created several channels for you to enjoy on YouTube. The Mormon Channel features an Easter Videos playlist that currently has 15 Easter-themed videos. As mentioned previously, the Church continues to release new media so I expect that this playlist will just keep growing. My advice is to subscribe to The Mormon Channel on YouTube so that you can enjoy all the updated content. Below you will find the Easter Videos playlist along with a few of my favorite Easter videos.

None Were with Him

One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so.

His Sacred Name – An Easter Declaration

This Easter, remember the sacred name, life,

and sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Because of Him

Jesus Christ is our Savior. Because of Him, we can change for the better and live again with God. This Easter we celebrate His life and Resurrection and invite all to share His miraculous story. http://www.mormon.org/becauseofhim

Sunday Will Come

The Resurrection and the Atonement of Christ are the pinnacle events in the history of the world. The darkness and sadness of Christ’s crucifixion did not endure. Christ was resurrected, enabling the resurrection of all mankind. In our lives we will have our dark days, but because of Jesus Christ we can have hope in overcoming our trials and ultimately returning to live with our Heavenly Father.

He Lives: Testimonies of Jesus Christ

See and hear modern-day Apostles testify that Jesus Christ

is the Savior and that He lives today.

My Kingdom Is Not of This World

Jesus is persecuted, mocked and crucified. His followers mourn, and find the tomb empty on the third day. The Son of God breaks the bands of death and ascends to His Father in Heaven.

He is Risen: John the Beloved’s Witness of the Resurrection

The Apostle John provides his eyewitness account of the last events in the Savior’s life and his Resurrection.

To This End I Was Born

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and King of the Jews, was born to offer Himself as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of mankind.

He is Risen

Ponder what the Savior means to all humanity—and to you personally.

And then share the good news.

CLICK HERE to follow BroSimonSays’s

PINTEREST boardChrist-centered Easter

Because of HIM! Sharing the Reason for the Easter Season

12 Apr

Beginning Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014, and running through Easter, April 20, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is sponsoring an Easter initiative called, “Because of Him” (#BecauseofHim), focusing on the hope, healing, and salvation made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

So what does this have to do with you??? Well, because of YOU others can know that it is BECAUSE OF HIM that death is not the end, and life takes on new meaning. We can change, we can start over—and we can live again with God.

#BecauseofHim

An example of one of the Easter initiative memes that can be shared to invite others to know more about Christ.

 

Using social media, we can use our circle of influence to extend an invitation for people to consider all that is possible in their lives because of Jesus Christ. We can use our online influence to direct people to visit the web page mormon.org/becauseofhim. Your friends and followers can read the Easter story, learn more about the teachings of Jesus Christ, view the video “Because of Him,” or chat online with a full-time missionary.

#BecauseofHim

Scene from the new Church Easter video, “Because of Him.”

The new video depicts the importance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ compared with various historical events. Brief scenes from the ministry of Jesus Christ are reminders of all that is made possible #BecauseofHim

#BecauseofHim

Scene from the new Church Easter video, “Because of Him.”

 

The Church has purchased the masthead space on YouTube’s homepage for Easter Sunday with hopes of inviting over 100 million people to visit mormon.org/becauseofhim to learn more about Jesus Christ, His atoning sacrifice, and His Resurrection.

WANNA HELP?! Latter-day Saints can get involved in the initiative in several ways. Here are a few suggestions from the Church:

First, for those members using social media, look for daily postings on mormon.org/becauseofhim starting April 13. On the mormon.org/becauseofhim web page, members are encouraged to read and share the written Easter story as well as the “Because of Him” video with friends and acquaintances.

Second, go to the mormon.org Facebook page and “LIKE” the page. This will allow the initiative’s daily postings to appear in a person’s Facebook newsfeed. Each day, a new, sharable graphic will be posted focusing on something made possible “because of Him.” The same thing can be done for those using Google+ or Twitter.

The third way to get involved is by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others using the initiative’s various offerings. When making social media posts, include the hashtag #BecauseofHim. While using social media, members may share personal thoughts and feelings about those things made possible using #BecauseofHim.

For example, on the graphic below is a list of phrases for each day leading up to Easter. You can share your photos that depict the phrase for that day to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, blogs, etc. and include the phrase of the day and #BecauseofHim in your photo description.”

To help promote this initiative, memes and a Photo-A-Day Challenge graphic were created, and you are invited to use these on your sites and social properties.

To help promote this initiative, memes and a Photo-A-Day Challenge graphic were created, and you are invited to use these on your sites and social properties.

Memes have been created, and you are encourage to use these on your sites and social properties on each corresponding day.

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 1, MONDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 1, MONDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 2, TUESDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 2, TUESDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 3, WEDNESDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 3, WEDNESDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 4, THURSDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 4, THURSDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 5, FRIDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 5, FRIDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 6, SATURDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 6, SATURDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 7, SUNDAY

Because of Him #BecauseofHim Day 7, SUNDAY

Because of YOU

others can know

that it is

BECAUSE OF HIM!

(#BecauseofHim)

%d bloggers like this: