Miraculous resurrection of one type or another has been a recurrent theme or central doctrine of many religions. The accounts represent the resurrection of individuals, as well as a general resurrection of humanity. Christianity also uses the term to refer to God’s resurrection of Jesus. Accounts of resurrection also occur in other religious traditions.
The earliest known recurrent theme of resurrection was in ancient Egyptian religion and it was especially focused upon an individual in the cults of Isis and Osiris. A cyclic dying-and-rising god motif was prevalent throughout ancient Mesopotamian and classical literature and practice.
There are stories in Buddhism where the power of resurrection has been demonstrated on at least two famous occasions in Chan or Zen Buddhist tradition. One is the famous resurrection story of Bodhidharma, the Indian master who brought the Ekayana school of India to China that subsequently became Chan Buddhism.
In the literal sense of the word, resurrection refers to the event of a dead person completely returning to life. Thus, it is not to be confused with things like immortality in which the soul continues to live after death, free of the body.
The resurrection of Jesus is the central doctrine in Christianity. The day of Jesus’ resurrection is actually the 3rd day after Passover, which was the day that Jesus died, fullfilling all of the prophesies concerning the Lamb of God that would pay the cost for the sins of the world. Passover was the day when the Hebrew people would bring a lamb for sacrifice that would attone for the sins of their households.
The word Easter is not from any accurate translaltion, as it was placed into the bible by the Roman government during their inaccuate translation concerning the resurrection. Cultural elements, such as the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts, have become part of the holiday’s modern celebrations, and those aspects are often celebrated by many non-Christians as well. There are also some Christian denominations that do not celebrate Easter.
The resurrected Jesus Christ commissioned his followers to, among other things, raise the dead. Throughout Christian history up to the present day there have been various accounts of Christians raising people from the dead. In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus is said to have raised several persons from death, including the daughter of Jairus shortly after death, a young man in the midst of his own funeral procession, and Lazarus, who had been buried for four days.
Traditionally, Easter eggs, hard-boiled eggs dyed bright red to symbolize the spilt Blood of Christ and the promise of eternal life, are cracked together to celebrate the opening of the Tomb of Christ.