Advice Paradise: Easter, Jesus, and Apostles

“It’s a jungle out there. Disorder and confusion everywhere. No one seems to care.” Well, WE do! That’s why we started this column… Advice Paradise!

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We’re not psychologists, counselors, therapists, or experts – we’re just fellow homeschoolers who are willing to offer a little friendly advice. Sometimes it helps to have a second opinion, and we’re here for you. The Advice Paradise team will answer questions on homeschooling, relationships, religion, and life in general. No question is too trivial. Just ask about anything you want to know! We promise to keep it simple and get straight to the point. In some cases, a bit of wit or sarcasm also does the trick.

Check out the following questions and see if any of them apply to you, or maybe you’ve been in the same situation and have some helpful advice to give someone else. We don’t profess to know everything, of course. Post a comment if you think you have a better answer!

This month we have several questions related to Easter…

  1. What does the Easter bunny have to do with Jesus?

Nothing really. Biblically speaking, there is absolutely no connection between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the common traditions related to Easter Sunday. Essentially, what occurred is that in order to make Christianity more attractive to non-Christians, the ancient Roman Catholic Church mixed the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection with celebrations that involved spring fertility rituals. These pagan rituals are the source of the egg and bunny traditions. As a background, please read our article on the origins of Easter.

  1. Did Jesus really rise from the dead or was it someone else posing as him to keep the church going?

Jesus really rose from the dead. The resurrection accounts from the four Gospels include multiple reliable eyewitnesses who testified that Jesus was alive after being buried in the tomb. Jesus was seen by all of the apostles who knew him well. He even invited doubting Thomas to touch His hands and side (John 20:26-27). Jesus was also seen by more than 500 people afterwards (1 Corinthians 15:6). In fact, many scholars agree that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was probably the most thoroughly attested event in ancient history. Learn more in this month’s “Read the Bible” column.

  1. What’s the Difference Between a Disciple and an Apostle?

The terms “disciple” and “apostle” are often used interchangeably, but they do in fact have different meanings. While a disciple is a student, one who learns from a teacher, an apostle is sent as a messenger to deliver those teachings to others. The apostles generally refer to the 12 men explicitly called by Jesus to follow him, while the disciples are a more inclusive larger group that can be thought of as including the apostles. The 12 apostles are: Simon (also called Peter), Andrew, James son of Zebedee, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot. Later in the Bible, Paul (formerly known as Saul) refers to himself as an apostle at the beginning of almost every one of his letters. Even though Paul was not one of the original 12 apostles from Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, he was given a special apostleship when the risen Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9: 1-6).

  1. How do you celebrate Easter?

In the United States, religious and non-religious people both enjoy celebrating Easter. Traditional religious commemorations include Saturday evening vigils, Sunrise services, and Sunday morning Resurrection Masses. With Lent officially over, families and friends gather for an Easter meal. Non-religious celebrations include Sunday brunches and activities like painting eggs and Easter egg hunts. Many families favor a combination of traditions.

Our family goes to church, then we come home and have an Easter lunch of pancakes and eggs. I don’t care how old we are, we will always enjoy hunting for our plastic eggs. (Though by now we know all the usual hiding places so it’s over quick, LOL.) We never really did Easter baskets, and we don’t bother coloring hard-boiled eggs any more, but I must have my DARK CHOCOLATE bunny. Easter dinner at our house usually consists of ham, cheesy potatoes, candied carrots, and homemade dinner rolls or Hawaiian sweet rolls. Oh yeah, and a cream pie.

Thanks for asking. How does your family celebrate Easter?

Do you have a question? Send it to mail@homeschoolingteen.com and we will share it with the Advice Paradise team to be posted in the next issue of Homeschooling Teen.

Think you have a better answer or would you like to offer some more advice? Please leave a comment below with the question number for reference. Thanks for helping!

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  1. Our family doesn’t celebrate Easter, but the Passover with the symbolism explained with Christianity and Jesus in mind.

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