My three brothers and I were baptized one Easter Sunday. I think I was probably about 10 years old. We had been going to church for some years and as a family, my brothers and I decided to get baptized in the church. I remember sitting outside on the hill talking to my mom about it and my decision to do so. My mom had wanted it to be our choice. I remember standing with my brothers in front of the congregation, dedicating our lives to Jesus and having the scrambled egg breakfast afterward at the Easter Sunrise service.
For me, Easter is not just childhood memories and family traditions revolving around painting Easter eggs, chocolate, and the Easter bunny, it’s the death and resurrection of Christ. In 2005 Ali and I went to Jerusalem for Easter weekend, while we were living in Nazareth. We stayed in the Old City and on the morning of Good Friday we went on the Via Dolorosa walk with thousands of other travelers to re-enact the walk that Jesus took when he was to be crucified on the cross. The streets in the Old City were packed and walking was difficult. I don’t think we made it through to the last stop as it was getting too crowded so we veered off and watched the crowds pass us by.
On Easter Sunday we went to a church service at the Garden Tomb church. This is an open air church where some believe that it is the location where Jesus rose from the dead. I say some because the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is another location in Jerusalem built upon the place where Jesus was said to have been crucified and later rose from the dead. I believe it has to do with which church you belong to. The Garden Tomb service was peaceful and powerful as I imagined it being the spot where Jesus rose. Maybe because it was outside in a garden. Maybe because it just felt right to me.