We like to recognize the power of beliefs. This writer notes that many athletes find inner strength in their religious beliefs. Stuart Weir asked me about writing a piece from the viewpoint of some athletes he ministers to within the Christian faith.
We wish a Good Passover to our Jewish friends, Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim friends ( or, A Happy Ramadan), and a Happy Easter to our Christian friends.
Thanks to Stuart Weir, who reminds us that this holiday season is not just about egg hunts and hot cross buns.
Easter is about bunnies, chocolate Easter eggs, egg hunts, painted eggs, hot cross buns, and Easter bonnets. Easter even has its own island – in the South Pacific.
Here are a few facts about Easter that you might not have known.
In the UK, 80 million Easter eggs are sold each year. The tradition goes back to 1873
The Easter Bunny originated in Germany
In Switzerland, the cuckoo traditionally delivers Easter eggs to children.
White lilies are the traditional Easter flowers.
Easter is named after the Anglo-Saxon Goddess called Eostre.
Easter dates change every year because it is based on the moon’s cycle.
For Christians, Easter has a special significance, remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I asked a few athletes what Easter meant to them.
Easter, to me, resembles a new beginning of good new things. He is risen, and it encourages me that now I’ve got a new me and to continue trusting in the Lord.
Eunice Sum, Kenya, 800m
Easter is the ultimate victory celebration. It is the global recognition of the battle Jesus won on our behalf. The gift of grace is now available to all that accept and follow Him.
Christian Taylor, USA, triple jump
Christian Taylor, photo by Martin Bateman
Easter is a time when we remember what Jesus our Lord did for us on the cross and how he came to give us life. It is a season of sacrifice and hope. The death of Jesus reminds me of the sorrow that our savior felt on the cross and all the suffering He has to go through for our sins. It shows His grace for us all. Easter Sunday is a joyous occasion when Jesus has risen, and we can live again, hoping to see Him in eternity.
Cindy Sember, UK, sprint hurdles
TORUN, POLAND – MARCH 07: Bronze medalist Tiffany Porter of Great Britain (R) and silver medalist Cynthia Sember of Great Britain (L) celebrate following the Women’s 60 Metres Hurdles final during the second session on Day 3 of the European Athletics Indoor Championships at Arena Torun on March 07, 2021, in Torun, Poland. Sporting stadiums around Poland remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for European Athletics)
Easter serves as a confirmation of the hope of eternal life for all who accept Christ as Savior. The fact that He rose on the third day indicates that those of us who die believing in Christ will someday be resurrected as well and live eternally with our Lord.
Levern Spencer, St Lucia, high jump
Easter, for me, means resurrection and new life. It is a refresher of my faith, a reminder that because of Jesus, things can come to life again, and miracles can happen. Easter represents the power of Jesus Christ living in me. His death speaks to me of sacrifice and grace and (on my part) gratitude. Easter is about families coming together, but it is about more than Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, and I try to remember the reason for the season.
Abigail Izoruru, UK, long jump
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 25: Abigail Irozuru of Great Britain in action during the Women Long Jump Final during Day Two of the Muller British Athletics Championships at the Alexander Stadium on August 25, 2019, in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Matt Lewis – British Athletics/British Athletics via Getty Images )
Easter is significant to me because it signifies Christ’s triumph over death, which reconciled his followers to him and brought eternal life. Because his ultimate sacrifice, I am no longer a slave to sin, and I can come to him freely for whatever I need, and I can look forward to eternal life with Christ.
Danielle Williams, Jamaica, sprint hurdles
Danielle Williams, photo by World Athletics
Easter, to me, is about the greatest Love Story in History. God, taking on the form of a servant to redeem the world, gave up His life for the sake of unworthy people like you and me. Because He rose from the dead, we now also have the greatest redemption story in history as well. Because of His sacrifice, I’m able to stand in confidence in who I am and who I am.
Tiffany Porter, UK, sprint hurdles
Photos: World Athletics, British Athletics, Martin Bateman, and Diamond League