President Barack Obama used his weekly address to the nation to reflect on the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as "a story of hope – a belief in a better day to come, just around the bend.” Speaking in a White House video on April 19, Obama said “These holy days have their roots in miracles that took place long ago. And yet, they still inspire us, guide us, and strengthen us today.” This year, most of the world’s Christians are celebrating Easter on the same Sunday, due to the coincidence of the calendars used by the East and West. Friday April 18 marked Good Friday, but also the Jewish commemoration of the Passover and the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Speaking of his Christian faith, Obama said “We remember the grace of an awesome God, who loves us so deeply that He gave us his only Son, so that we might live through Him. We recall all that Jesus endured for us – the scorn of the crowds, the agony of the cross – all so that we might be forgiven our sins and granted everlasting life."
The President and Mrs. Obama plan to celebrate the feast day with their daughters Malia and Sasha on Sunday, April 20. They also held a Seder dinner in the White House on April 15 to mark the Passover. “The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. To remember, I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper,” said Obama. “Whatever your faith, believer or nonbeliever, there’s no better time to rededicate ourselves to that universal mission.”
While the president and the First Lady do not have any public events scheduled for the balance of the Easter weekend, on April 21 – which some Christians know as Bright Monday – they will host the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This is the 136th repeat of the annual event. On hand will be celebrity actor Jim Carrey, singer Ariana Grande, and Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri. Also appearing is Cookie Monster, a children’s favorite from the Sesame Street public television program.