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RICHMOND, NEW ORLEANS, ATLANTA, MARCH <86^1918. Tjie The Cent/ml Presbyter/an ThEjSOUTIiE/fNPRESBYTEWAN No 12 "THE LORD IS RISEN INDEED" EASTER, the name, is used only once in our translation of the Bible, and there it trans lates the word that is usually translated Pass over. The name comes from the mythological Saxon goddess of spring, Oestra. It was the custom of the early Church to adopt the festi vals of the heathen religions as far as possible and Christianize them. So the spring festival to Oestra was connected with the celebration of the resurrection of our Saviour. While the Church of to-day recognizes this as a distinctly Christian day, still there are a number of features connected with its observance which seem to have come down from its heathen ob servance. Examples of these are the use of colored eggs and rabbits. No one seems to know just why these are connected with the day. Young chickens just breaking out of their shells are supposed to represent Christ coming forth from the tomb, but there is little real resemblance between the birth of a chicken and the resurrec tion from the dead. ,+ + + There are very few events in the life of our Saviour of which the exact date can be fixed. But there is no question about the day on which he was crucified- and that on which he rose from the dead. The old Passover was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan. The Jewish months corresponded with the months of the moon, and so the month did not always begin on the same day of the year, as our months do, but varied ac cording to the stage of the moon. The Saviour was crucified on the day of the Passover, which came on Friday, and he rose from the dead on the third day, which was Sunday. + + + No instruction is given in the Bible for any special observance of the day of Christ's resurrection. The New Testament has very little to say in encouragement of the observance of special days or seasons. ' But there are ho more important events in the history of our Saviour on earth than his crucifixion and resurrection. Though the Church has no specific instruction as to the observance of these days, it is surely well for us to give these wonderful events special recognition in our thoughts, on the days on which they are specially in our mind. Anni versaries have a tendency to recall events to mind more vividly than they are at other times. So this week the thoughts of the Chris tian Church are specially turned to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the Saviour of sinners. + + + That first Easter day was one well remem bered by the disciples to the end of their lives. They all had much to remember, but some had special favors shown them by the Saviour. This was the case with the women who went to the tomb, with Peter and John, the two who went to Emmaus, and the eleven who were together that first Lord's day night. + + + How we would like to have been present when Mary's tear-dimmed eyes in the twi light of the early dawn failed to recognize her beloved Friend. We would like to have seen the gentleness with which he approached her. When she spoke to him thinking he was the gardener, just one word was necessary to show her who he. was. How much of ten derness, lgpe and comfort was expressed in the tone *n which he called her name, we will never know. We may be sure it was the sweetest music Mary ever heard and that it rang in her heart until she heard him call it again in the heavenly home. He no doubt gave her other precious words and thoughts to remember, for it is not probable that the few words recorded in the gospels are all that he said to her. + + + The other women who went to the tomb ?bout Bunriie also could nevtr forgtt the joy that sprang up in their hearts when they turned from the empty tomb to see alive him who had so recently occupied it. Doubtless in this case also more was said than is re corded. ? + + Peter no doubt felt that he had greater cause to remember that day than any of the others. From the time of his denial of the Master, until Jesus came to him some where during that first Easter day, he had been as miserable probably as he had ever been in all his life. But Jesus in loving sympathy for a repen tant sinner, sought him out when he was alone. What he had to say to 1'eter was too sacred for the public ear. No one else heard him, and no word of that conversation has been Reported to us. We dare not try to intrude upon that meeting, where we are sure that heart spoke to heart in loving sympathy. Whenever the sinner is repentant the Saviour is ready to come to him and to assure him of his forgiveness. + + + We may well believe that the two travelers to Em ma us were eager to re turn to tell the other disciples of their wonderful experience, and we may be sure that the sermon they heard on the way uever faded from their minds or its impression from their hearts. + + + When evening came the disciples, who had been more or less scattered during the day, gathered in some room, it may have been the upper room where they had celebrated the Passover, and where the Lord's Sup per had been instituted. Some of tbem had seen Jesus, some had not. We can imagine the intense interest with which every detail of these events was discussed. But we can never imagine the feelings of those disciples when .lesus stood in their midst. They were earnestly seeking light, and he gave them far more than they could have expected. + + + One of the mysteries connected with that day is the fact that no reference is made to the mother of Jesus. We can hardly believe that Jesus would have let her go through that day, when he was revealing himself to others, without giving her the comfort and the joy of seeing that he was alive. If he did appear to her, it may have been that Mary felt that such a meeting was too sacred even to be referred to, and it may be that, just as she did in other matters, she laid it up in her heart as one of her most precious treasures. We like to think that somewhere in the early morning he, kissed away the tears from her weeping eyes, and filled her heart with a heavenly joy.