Jesus had his last meal with his disciples on the evening of a Thursday, was arrested during the night, prosecuted Friday morning, condemned, crucified, and died before sundown on Friday (commemorated as Good Friday). And, He was raised from the dead on the third day — Sunday, which is celebrated as the day of Easter.
We Christians celebrate Easter not just for historical reasons. We believe that Jesus’ triumph over death on Easter wasn’t just his triumph — it was ours, too.
After the 40 days of spiritual penance by which Christians prepare for this holiday, we explode with joy at Easter, because we believe that through Christ’s resurrection, we can be resurrected as well. Because Jesus Christ defeated sin and death, we are free from it in this life, and in the next, we will have eternal life with God.
If the crucifixion was about everything that is bad about the world, Easter is about how we can be free from everything bad.
For Christians, Easter doesn’t say that death is a tragedy that might, in the fullness of time, be somehow compensated. Easter says that death is temporary.
For Christians, Easter doesn’t say that suffering is something that one day might be relieved; it says that it is an illusion.
In the end, the meaning of Easter is as simple as it seems: it says that life triumphs over death and we are all saved in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.