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The Real Meaning Of Easter

Name: The Easter Story Title: Story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Custom File Name:story-Jesus-Christ-resurrection


The Real Meaning Of Easter: The Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

For in due time, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. For God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. He has made him who knew no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us; so that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Romans 5:6 and 2 Corinthians 5:19-21

The real meaning of Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Saviour of all the world. The bunnies, eggs and chicks often associated with Easter are welcome signs of Spring and the newness it represents. Jesus alone among all other prophets and gods was born to die for the sins of all mankind. He alone, out of His great love for all people, sacrificed His life on the cross at Calvary that we could be  redeemed from sin, reconciled to the God who seeks a personal relationship with each of us and united forever with Him. He alone was resurrected from the dead and lives now to intercede for those He has redeemed by His own blood. He alone will return to rule all of the nations with wisdom and in peace. 

Following are excerpts from the eyewitness accounts of those events:

The Last Supper
The Last Supper    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Disciples fell asleep while Jesus prayed for strength to endure His crucifixion on the cross  
Jesus in the Garden with His disciples

The Last Supper Before the Crucifixion of Jesus
Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, Where do you want us to prepare for to eat the Passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say to him, The Master says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. Now when the evening was come, he sat down with the twelve disciples.

And as they did eat, he said, You know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man will be betrayed to be crucified. Verily I say to you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say to him, Lord, is it I? ...Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said to him, Thou hast said. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. And when they finished eating, they sang a hymn and went out into the mount of Olives.
 
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (James and John), and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

Then said he to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death: wait here, and watch with me. And he went a little further from them, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." When he came back to the disciples and found them asleep, he said to Peter, "What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."


He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."  He went back to the disciples and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then he came back to his disciples again, and said to them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."
 
Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew of the garden place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, with a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, "Whom do you seek?" They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When he said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, "Whom do you seek?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go." This was to fulfill the word which he had spoken, "Of those whom thou gave me I lost not one." Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?" So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him.

Jesus carrying His cross
 

The Trial of Jesus
First they led Jesus to Annas; for he was thefather-in-law of Ca'iaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Ca'iaphas who had given counsel tothe Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. Annas then sent him bound toCa'iaphas the high priest. Then they led Jesus from the house of Ca'iaphas to the praetorium, thegoverning palace of Pilate. So Pilate went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bringagainst this man?" They answered him, "If this man were not an evildoer, we would not havehanded him over." Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your ownlaw." The Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put any man to death." 

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, "I find no crime in him. The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God." When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid; he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, "Who are you and where are you from?" But Jesus gave no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, or the power to crucify you?" Jesus answered him, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin." Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar."

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gab'batha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said to them, Which of these two men do you want me to  release to you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate said to them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all said to him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, "Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified."

When Pilate sat down on the judgment seat in the praetorium, his wife sent a message to him, saying, "Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him." When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather that the crowd was becoming unruly, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it." Then answered all the people, and said, "His blood be on us, and on our children." Then Pilate released Barabbas to them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

 
Calvary
                                         
The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus of Nazareth
When the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered to him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, "Do not write, `The King of the Jews,' but, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.' Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be." This was to fulfill the scripture, "They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land to the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the scripture), "I thirst." A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished". When he had cried again with a loud voice, he gave up His spirit.

And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that followed, they were afraid and said, Truly this was the Son of God.

 

The death and burial of Jesus Christ
The Burial Of Jesus
Shortly before sundown, when it was evening, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds' weight. They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.

Now near the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimithea, which he had hewn out in the rock: where no one had ever been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.  And many women which had followed Jesus from Galilee ministering to him, were there beholding afar off; among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee's children.

Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together to Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say to the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said to them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting  soldiers to watch.


Jesus resurrected
 
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, before sun up while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not remember the scripture, that He must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rab-bo'ni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Jesus and Thomas
Resurrected Jesus Confronts Doubting Thomas
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." 

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.


The Ascension of Jesus

Resurrected Jesus Ascends to the Right Hand of Father God
In the first book, I (Theophilus) wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This,’ he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

 

Jesus died so that you can have a real, loving relationship with a God who knows you by name, loves you with all of His heart and is waiting with open arms to welcome you to a new life. Interested? Click here .
              
Sources: The Book of John, Oremus Bible Browser, Devotions.net  Biblia.com 
(Translation used is excerpted from the Revised Standard Version of the King James Bible, St John 18-21, St. Luke  and Acts 1). For the sake of brevity, we have omitted more details as given in the gospel accounts of St. Luke, St. Mark and portions of St. Matthew. We encourage you to read for yourself the wonderful account of the life and death of Jesus Christ, Son of God, as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible.

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