On Sunday, April 1st. Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino celebrated Easter Sunrise Service. Hundreds of church members started gathering in the church parking lot before sunrise. With a spectacular view of the mountain range, the sun could be seen streaking out from above the mountain peaks during the service.
A special time of worship and remembrance as Pastor Lee Coe recalled how over 2,000 years ago a group of women came to Jesus’ tomb to complete the anointing process that was hastily started a few days prior. Upon their arrival at the tomb, the women found that the stone covering the tomb had been rolled away and the body of Jesus nowhere to be found. An Angel at the tomb declared that Jesus was not there and had risen from the dead. Later Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, then to the Apostles, and later to hundreds more.
To many people Easter is a time to celebrate the coming of spring, and use symbols like eggs, chicks, flowers, and rabbits to celebrate the occasion. However, to most Christians, it’s a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after His death on the cross. Many have found a blending of both Christian and secular (Pagan) traditions have worked for them. However, the focus of the biblical Easter tradition is in the resurrection!
Before A.D. 30 (before the death of Jesus Christ), Easter was a pagan holiday that was named after the goddess Eostre, who celebrated the beginning of spring.
During the first centuries after the resurrection of Jesus, the Pascha (refer to as the Passover) was celebrated in conjunction with the resurrection. For a Christian, it held a parallel meaning – and that is the shedding of blood for the atonement of sins. In the first centuries the term Pascha was used instead of “Easter”, but as the original biblical manuscripts were translated into English, the term “Easter” was used in a couple of the translations, and the term has remained to this date. Now, this is an “in-the-nutshell” version of a very long doctrinal story, but I’m just pointing out some general facts to help understand the differences of these three events (Passover, Pascha, and Easter) and their origins.
To have an outdoor church service and be able to witness the beginning of a new day with the sunrise over the mountains only helped to solidify the reasons for the celebration of the resurrection, and that is forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ, and a new life, a rebirth through the belief in Jesus Christ.
After the sunrise service, everyone was invited to stay for fellowship and breakfast before the start of regular church service. Several church volunteers arrived hours ahead of time to help set up tables, chairs, and prepare a pancake and bacon breakfast.
Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino is located at 1499 E. Baseline, San Bernardino, and has several services throughout the week. There are many programs designed to reach out into the community, including the homeless ministry, youth ministry, singles ministry, men’s ministry, women’s ministry, various bible studies, rides ministry, Spanish ministry, meals ministry, prayer ministry, and many more.