Important day in two religions

Today is an incredibly important day in the calendars of two major religions.

Good Friday marks the day in Holy Week when Jesus Christ suffered and died on the Cross at Golgotha (Calvary). Christians worldwide believe that Christ died to atone for the sins of mortals.

According to Christian belief, Jesus’ crucifixion lasted an agonizing six hours before he succumbed. Joseph of Arimathea wrapped his body in a shroud and placed it in a tomb. The entrance was covered by a large rock.

On the third day — Easter Sunday — the rock was missing from the entrance to the tomb. Christ had arisen. Since that day in 30 AD, Easter has commemorated Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

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The Jewish holiday of Passover begins tonight and continues through Saturday, April 27.

The holiday celebrates the release of Jews as slaves in ancient Egypt. God sent forth 10 plagues on the Egyptians to force them to release the Jews. When Pharaoh ignored the first nine, the most devastating plague — killing all firstborn children — was visited upon Egypt.

Jewish families were told to mark the entrances to their homes in lamb’s blood and thus, they were “passed over” by the plague. The death of the Egyptian children broke Pharaoh’s resistance and the Exodus began.

Today, Passover commemorates and celebrates that freedom and the establishment of a Jewish state under Moses’ leadership.

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To all our Christian and Jewish friends, may today be a blessed day for all of you as you celebrate your religious traditions.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.