Apparently, even straightforward is too much for one correspondent at National Public Radio. "Feeling the need to Eastersplain to their postmodern, 'no objective truth' fans, someone wrote an article for the NPR website that described Easter as 'the day celebrating the idea that Jesus did not die and go to hell or purgatory or anywhere like that, but rather arose into heaven.'" That's harsh; arguably it's not in keeping with the spirit of forgiveness and redemption. And yet, how can a secular world profess to value difference when its self-appointed thought leaders don't understand their own history?
Christianity is the religion, or at least the religious background, of the overwhelming majority of Americans. The crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ on the Cross on Good Friday is one of the basic teachings of the religion. The name — which is used in English-speaking countries — is presumably meant to observe the paradox that the day on which God was murdered turned out to be eternal victory over death. This is why it is “Good”.Rod Dreher continues.
Second, the teaching that Jesus arose from the dead on Easter, and ascended into heaven 40 days later, is basic Christianity. You ought to know this as a matter of elementary cultural literacy.
I’ve said in this space on many occasions that as I travel to Christian colleges, one of the biggest complaints I hear from faculty is that young people have next to no theological knowledge. They are the products of parishes, congregations, and (especially) youth groups that have reduced the faith to mere relationality. I was once in the presence of a college student who had been raised in the church, been involved since childhood, and had been active in a parachurch youth ministry. She knew that Jesus was her best buddy, but she did not realize that he had been physically raised from the dead.Perhaps it's on National Public Radio to expect that its commentators understand the orchestral works the stations sometimes perform. Jan Swofford surely gets Beethoven.
We’re not talking about expecting laymen to explain the hypostatic union here. We’re talking about the Resurrection.
Here are the relevant bits of the Credo.
Et in Jesum Christum, Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad infernos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad coelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos.Suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, died, buried, decended into Hell (the Harrowing of Hell), rose on the third day. That's Good Friday to Easter Sunday. Up from the grave He arose, to put it succinctly. Ascension Day (Himmelfahrtstag) comes forty days on in the church calendar, and the return to judge the living and dead is the not yet realized Second Coming.
For 2018, Easter Sunday is Conrail Day, and Ascension Thursday is Golden Spike Day. That combination will recur in 2029.