What’s Easter like for Christians in Jerusalem?

Believers in Jerusalem share their Easter experience in the Holy Land.

Thomas Dressler, an American student at College des Freres in Jerusalem.  

American Evangelical believer Thomas Dressler, student at College des Freres in Jerusalem.

“In our church we celebrate Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Easter. On Ash Wednesday we talk about the fact that we were made of dust and we return to dust. It is remembering that God is Almighty and that He is in control. We should respect that and remember He is Almighty. 

I participate in the fast before Easter. But I do not completely fast because it would affect my ability to do tests at school. I will fast from some food and some daily activities, like working with electronic devices or other things that take away my concentration from God. In this way, I have more time for Bible reading and prayer. 

I am definitely looking forward to Easter. We remember that God showed His love for us by sending His Son to die for our sins. He brought down the walls between us and Himself. He made our relationship with Him complete. By being raised from the death, Jesus conquered death and the powers of Satan. He reassures us that we don‘t have to fear death anymore. For me it has a special meaning to celebrate the feast in Jerusalem. It is so close to where it all happened. It is an interesting experience to go to the Garden Tomb or the Holy Sepulcher. We have to remember, however, that it does not affect the presence of God because He is everywhere. ”

Gemma Blech, former nurse, midwife, social worker and a Messianic Jewish believer.

Messianic Jewish believer Gemma Blech, former nurse, midwife, and social worker.

“Pesach [Jewish term for Passover festival] reminds us of the bringing in of the lamb and its blood on the doorposts. It is the blood of that lamb that protected the Israelites in their houses, so they lived while the angel of death passed over. Thus they were able to leave Egypt. It is clear that Yeshua [Hebrew for Jesus] did the same thing. But instead of the doorposts, His blood is on our hearts when we accept Him into our lives. It is then that we truly know resurrection. Our escape from the angel of death and from Egypt, which is life in the flesh. So for me the meaning of the feast is very powerful. 

Pesach is always linked with family and forgiveness. When everybody sits together for the Seder [ceremonial dinner], there is opportunity for forgiveness. For me personally, Pesach gave me a whole new understanding of relationships and trying to obtain forgiveness from others I hurt in the past.”

Sometimes we gather the night before the Seder to explore the Biblical meaning of the whole feast…In the past I have been with very Orthodox Jews. Last year I was at more traditional Seder when I was able to say something about the meaning of the blood of the Lamb. This was a real joy!”

Easter in Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a special place during Easter. It is celebrated in different ways, determined by different traditions and calendars. Catholic and Protestant churches following the Gregorian calendar, have their feast on 27th March, Orthodox churches following to the Julian calendar celebrate on 1st May.

The Garden Tomb

The Garden Tomb

 

Washing of the feet in St. Mark Church.

 

Christian pilgrims outside near the Holy Sepulcher or the Church of Resurrection in Jerusalem.

Christian pilgrims outside near the Holy Sepulcher or the Church of Resurrection in Jerusalem.

Pray

  • Pray for believers this Easter, that we would be reminded of the riches we have in Christ.
  • Pray for those who don’t know Jesus, who have heard the Easter story this year. Pray that God would reveal the truth of the gospel to them, convict them of their sin and that they would turn to Christ.

To find out more about Open Doors, visit www.opendoors.org.au

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