Campus Alive

April 10, 2009

Easter and Fasting.

Filed under: Message,Sharing — campusalive @ 7:41 am
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IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMING EASTER CELEBRATION, believers all around the world have already begun to fast in various ways. Why do Christians fast and what is the significance of fasting before Easter?

Historically, fasting before Easter has been practiced since the 4th Century. This period of fast is also called Lent and is observed for 40 days. However, different Christian denominations fast in different ways. Protestants fast for approximately 7 weeks until Easter on Sunday, when they will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Roman Catholics also fast in a similar way, but their fast officially stops at sundown on Holy Thursday. However, not all Christians fast before Easter, as some Protestants do not practice fasting before Easter.

Fasting is not an obligation for every believer. Normally, we fast for the following reasons.

Repentance and turning back to God
1 Samuel 7: 6 recorded the act of fasting by all Israel to show their repentance to God in Mizpah, where the Prophet Samuel interceded for Israel.


Obedience to God’s commands
Isaiah 58:6 recorded what Prophet Isaiah said about fasting as an act of obeying God and living godly lives for Him.



Asking God for a change

The bible reveals King David’s plea for God to spare his son from death by fasting in 1 Sam 12:22-23.

Phills Verse

As part of mourning
Nehemiah 1:4 tells us about prophet Nehemiah fasting to mourn for the destruction of Jerusalem.

To prepare ourselves when temptations come
Fasting helps believers get ready when temptations come our way. Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert before being tempted by the Devil, as recorded in Luke 4.

Sunset


Why fast before Easter?

Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s only son who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead after three days. As believers, His resurrection is the mark of our victory over sin and death. Fasting before Easter can be interpreted in many ways. Some scholars believe it has to do with what Jesus said in Matthew 9: 15
Jesus answered: “How can the guest of the bridegroom mourn when He is still with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away, then they will mourn and fast.”

In this verse, the guest refers to Jesus’s disciples and the bridegroom refers to Jesus. Jesus who foreknew His death believes that there is no need for His disciples to fast until He returns to the Father. Until then, His disciples should rejoice since Jesus is still on earth with them. Hence, it is believed that Christians fast since that day to commerate Jesus’s death and resurrection.

While fasting before Easter is more like a custom that has been practiced since decades ago, I believe there are meanings and truths to fasting before Easter, which is the revelation of the Holy Spirit who still speaks, even today.

I believe that fasting before Easter is an act of thanksgiving to God for what He has done for us. Psalms 136 is a beautiful psalm which highlights the psalmist’s thanksgiving and praise for God. The phrase “His love endures forever” is highlighted 25 times after each verse of thanksgiving. Clearly, the greatest thing you and I have to thank God for is indeed, His love, which makes all the difference in the world today.

easter

With His great love, came Amazing grace and forgiveness, who shook the core of hearts as He left His heavenly glories and gave all He could give-His life so that we might have abundant life in Him, in addition to everlasting life.

John 10:10 The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.

I also believe that fasting before Easter is a symbol of yielding to God’s works and believing for a radical change in which we hope for. If we are facing a circumstance today, in which we need a change, whether it might be sickness, financial needs, broken relationships, or anything which might haunt us for a long time, we just need to remember that He died so that we can be victorious over these circumstances by GRACE as Isaiah as prophesied in Luke 3:18-19, that essentially He came to “heal the broken hearted and set the captives free”. Hence, fasting at this moment is timely as we remember what God has already done for us on the cross and claim those promises for our lives.

This coming Easter, whether you are fasting or not, He sees you and knows your needs. The blessings of the Good News of Jesus Christ is right here for you to claim, when you invite Him to be your personal Lord and Saviour.

In a world where people are dying to search for genuine LOVE, HOPE and a someone to have FAITH in, or an ultimate purpose to live for, He is the answer, and the Only Person who can fill the longing and seeking.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

Happy Easter, Everybody.



This was written by Samantha Sii.

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1 Comment »

  1. i’m oweys amazed by this 2 words, ‘happy easter’… it never seriously cross my mind tat someone’s else death was meant to be celebrated… well, it also means tat the story doens’t juz end on someone dying on the cross, it continues ON…

    HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!!

    Comment by Pat — April 10, 2009 @ 6:53 pm


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