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On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is typically the most well-attended Sunday service of the year for Christian churches.

Christians believe, according to Scripture, that Jesus was raised from the dead, three days after his death on the cross. As part of the Easter season, the death of Jesus Christ bycrucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday, always the Friday just before Easter. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for sin, thus purchasing for all who believe in him, eternal life in Christ Jesus.

(For a more detailed explanation about his death and resurrection, see Why Did Jesus Have to Die?and Timeline of Jesus’ Final Hours.)

Easter Season

In Western Christianity, Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fastingrepentance, moderation and spiritual discipline in preparation for Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. Eastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent, during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Easter. Lent for Eastern Orthodox churches begins on Monday and Ash Wednesday is not observed.

Holy Week

Easter Sunday is preceded by Holy Week, which is the last week of Lent. Holy Week marks important events in Jesus’s life as described in the Gospels — his triumphal entrance to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, and his death and crucifixion on Good Friday.

Because of Easter’s pagan origins, and also because of the commercialization of Easter, many Christian churches choose to refer to the holiday as Resurrection Day.

Easter in the Bible

The biblical account of Jesus’ death on the cross, or crucifixion, his burial and his resurrection, or raising from the dead, can be found in the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; and John 19:16-20:30.

See the full explanation here:   http://christianity.about.com/od/holidaytips/qt/whatiseaster.htm or http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/18/easter-2014-resurrection-_n_5175611.html

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