Understanding Easter: The Death and Resurrection of Jesus

The death and resurrection of Jesus are central to Christianity. If we want to love God deeply, we must thoroughly understand the profound meaning of Easter, Good Friday, and Palm Sunday.

Easter is celebrated by millions of people around the world every year.

Eggs are hunted, chocolate is eaten, and families gather together to share a meal. In the weeks leading up to Easter, a number of other days are also celebrated, including Palm Sunday and Good Friday.

But even though Easter is widely celebrated, many people don’t understand the true meaning of Easter. They don’t grasp what the death and resurrection of Jesus really mean. They don’t see how Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday are all connected.

The death and resurrection of Jesus are central to Christianity. If we want to love God deeply, we must thoroughly understand the profound meaning of Easter, Good Friday, and Palm Sunday.

In this post, we’re going to walk through the final days of Jesus. We’ll dive deep into Easter and seek to comprehend the amazing implications of the resurrection of Jesus. Ready?

Let’s dive in.

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What Is Palm Sunday?

Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. The crowds treated Jesus like a king, laying palm branches in the road ahead of Him.

Palm Sunday is the day that Christians remember Jesus’ riding into Jerusalem. It marks the start of Holy Week, and helps us remember the path Jesus walked to the cross.

Why Does Palm Sunday Matter?

In the Near East, it was common to cover the road before someone of utmost importance rode on it. Additionally, the Jewish people considered the palm branch to be a symbol of power and victory. When the inhabitants of Jerusalem laid palm branches before Jesus, they were declaring Him to be a great king.

This is why we read in Matthew 21:9-10:

Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

The crowd believed that Jesus was the Messianic king who would deliver them. And they were right. Sort of.

Jesus was indeed the king and Messiah. He would deliver His people from evil. Just not in the way everyone expected. The first hint that something was different was that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.

He didn’t sit atop a great war horse or stand in a gilded chariot. He rode a lowly donkey.

Jesus wasn’t going to deliver His people through war or weapons. He wasn’t going to drive out the Romans with His army.

Jesus was going to save His people by sacrificing Himself. His “weapon” of choice was the cross. And He would deliver His people from something much greater and more sinister than the Romans. He was going to save them from their sins.

Palm Sunday is an opportunity for us to remember what sort of king Jesus truly is. He was not the king the people wanted, but He was the king they so desperately needed. Our greatest need is to be made right with God. We need to have our sins forgiven and to have the righteousness that God provides.

Palm Sunday reminds us that God met our greatest need. Because He loves us so very much, He sent the Messiah to redeem us. God took on flesh and came to us humble and lowly. He was born in a stable and rode toward the cross on a donkey.

What a wonderful gift from God.

What Is Good Friday?

In order to understand the meaning of Easter, we first need to understand Good Friday. Easter Sunday only makes sense in light of Good Friday.

What Happened on Good Friday?

On the night before Good Friday, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. The disciple Judas betrayed Jesus and brought a group of armed people to apprehend Jesus.

Between approximately 4:00 to 6:00 a.m.

Jesus was put on trial before Annas and Caiaphas. They condemned Jesus to death for His claim to be the Son of God. They mocked, spit on, and beat Him.

Between 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.

Jesus stood trial before Pilate and Herod. Pilate interrogated Jesus, trying to figure out what crime He had committed. Convinced of Jesus’ innocence, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod in hopes that Herod would know what to do. Herod couldn’t find any fault with Jesus either and so sent Him back to Pilate. In a last-ditch effort to spare Jesus, Pilate offered up a notorious criminal named Barabbas. The Jewish leaders insisted that Jesus be executed. Roman soldiers proceeded to mercilessly whip Jesus, mock Him, hit Him, and spit on Him.

Between 8:00 to 8:30 a.m.

Jesus was forced to carry His cross to Golgotha. Because He was so weak from the beatings, He was unable to carry the cross the entire distance. The soldiers found a man from Cyrene named Simon and forced him to carry the cross until they reached Golgotha.

At approximately 9:00 a.m.

Jesus was crucified. Nails were driven through His wrists and feet to ensure He stayed on the cross. Crucifixion was a slow, excruciating way to die. The person on the cross usually died of asphyxiation.

Between 9:00 to 9:30 a.m.

The Roman soldiers began gambling for Jesus’ clothing. It was also during this time that Jesus prayed for the soldiers, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Between 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

The gathered crowd watched Jesus as He slowly died. They mocked Him, saying things like, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

Between 11:00 a.m. to noon

Jesus spoke to the thieves crucified on either side of Him. One of the thieves, moved by the way Jesus died, repented of his sins and asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus promised the thief that he would be in paradise with Jesus. It was during this time that Jesus also spoke to His mother and John, saying, “Woman, here is your son...John, here is your mother.”

Between noon to 3:00 p.m.

A terrible darkness descended upon the land. The earth quaked, the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom, and Jesus said that He was thirsty.

At 3:00 p.m.

Jesus died. Before dying, He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Finally, He said, “It is finished.”

After Jesus died, the Roman soldiers pierced His side with a spear to ensure that He was really dead. Joseph of Arimathea was allowed to take the body of Jesus and put it in a nearby tomb.

To ensure that no one would steal the body, a massive round stone was rolled in front of the tomb, sealing off the entrance. Roman soldiers were placed around the tomb as an extra measure of security.

No one expected Jesus to rise from the dead. It had never happened before. Up to that point, the dead had always remained dead.

And then everything changed.

What Makes Good Friday Good?

So why do we call it “Good Friday”? What was good about it?

The events that happened on that day are central to our salvation. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. He didn’t deserve to die, let alone on a cross.

Crucifixion was a punishment reserved for the worst criminals. The idea was that others would be deterred from crime when they saw how horrendous crucifixion was.

As He hung on the cross, Jesus took the wrath of God for our sins. He absorbed the punishment that we deserve. In scripture, darkness was often a sign of the judgment of God. The darkness that fell over the land pointed to the much greater darkness that was consuming Jesus.

This is why some churches have a Tenebrae (Latin for “darkness) service. During the service, candles are gradually extinguished and complete darkness fills the room. This provides worshipers with a tangible reminder that divine darkness consumed Jesus on the cross.

Because Jesus died, we can have life. Through Jesus, we receive forgiveness for all our sins. God gives us the glorious gift of eternal life and we are brought into close fellowship with Him.

As Pastor Adrian Rogers said:

"How can [God] love and forgive the sinner and at the same time punish sin? The answer is: with a substitutionary sacrifice. Someone who takes that punishment on our behalf. A person who has known no sin Himself, righteous enough, holy enough, good enough, to become our substitute. Someone who can suffer in our stead. The only one who could do that was the Son of God. He is God’s substitutionary sacrifice—and our Savior."

Second Corinthians 5:21 says this:

“...for He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

A divine exchange took place. Jesus took our sins and we received His righteousness. Once we were far off from God. Through Jesus, we have been brought near.

Pastor Adrian Rogers also said:

"What will let you into God’s presence? What will cover your sins—and mine? Just one thing: Jesus’ death on Calvary’s cross. The cross was not an accident or an afterthought; it was in the heart of God before the world began. Jesus was born under the shadow of a cross."

The cross is undeniable proof that God deeply, profoundly loves us. What would motivate Jesus to die for us? What would move God to give up His only Son? Only an overwhelming love.

If you struggle to believe that God loves you, look long and hard at what happened on Good Friday. Jesus endured the cross for you! Because He loves you so very much and wants you to know Him.

Helpful Resources about Good Friday

What Is Good Friday and Why Does It Matter?

In this post, we’re going to dive deep into Good Friday. We’ll look at the events that took place and explore why they really matter.

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What Is The Resurrection Of Christ?

The resurrection of Jesus is one of the most incredible events in the history of the world. Everything changed at the moment that He emerged from the tomb. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, the Christian faith simply wouldn’t exist. Unlike other religions, which can go on when the founder dies, Christianity depends on Jesus being alive.

Jesus told His disciples that He was going to die and then rise from the dead. In Matthew 16:21, we read:

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, we have no reason to believe any of His claims. After all, He promised eternal life to everyone who believed in Him. He offered forgiveness through His death on the cross.

He said that one day He would return and create a new heaven and earth. If Jesus never rose from the dead, everything He claimed is false and Christianity falls apart.

Can you see how everything hinges on the resurrection? If Jesus rose from the dead, then you must accept everything else He said as true. If Jesus isn’t alive, then all His words are worthless. It’s not ultimately about whether you like what Jesus had to say, it’s about whether Jesus rose from the dead.

The good news is that Jesus did rise from the dead. This is not some sort of myth or symbol. Jesus physically rose from the dead and many people saw Him and touched Him.

After Jesus died and was buried, three women went to His tomb to anoint His body with spices. As they approached the tomb, they worried about how they would get past the huge stone that blocked the entrance. They weren’t expecting Jesus to rise from the dead.

In Mark 16:4-6, we read:

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

The women ran and told the disciples what they had seen. But that was just the beginning! Jesus also appeared to:

  • Mary Magdalene
  • Two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus
  • Peter
  • The eleven original disciples
  • A crowd of 500
  • James
  • Paul

All of these people were convinced through and through that they had seen the risen Christ. None of them had been expecting Him to rise. They witnessed Him be crucified, killed, and buried. Some, like Thomas, refused to believe until they physically touched Jesus.

The followers of Jesus experienced great persecution for their faith. James was beheaded. John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos.

Many believe that Peter was crucified upside down. Even doubting Thomas was martyred because of his faith in the risen Christ.

If Jesus didn’t truly rise from the dead, they never would have persisted in their faith. Nobody is willing to die for something that they know isn’t true. Jesus’ disciples were willing to die because they knew that He was alive.

They knew that the risen Jesus would receive them when they died. They were so convinced of the resurrection that they were willing to lose absolutely everything, including their lives, for Jesus.

Pastor Adrian Rogers said:

"Were the disciples' liars? If so, why would they lie? The disciples openly exclaimed, “Listen, we have seen Him! We have touched Him!” And they died as martyrs: tortured, persecuted, burned at the stake, torn apart by lions. Hypocrites and martyrs are not made of the same stuff. People tell lies to get out of trouble, not into trouble. Few will die for what they know is a lie."

Mohammed didn’t rise from the dead. Buddha is still in the grave. Joseph Smith died and was never heard from again. But Jesus is alive and He continues to transform people’s lives. The resurrection sets Christianity apart from every other religion. Other religions can keep going if the founder is dead, but not Christianity. Jesus must be alive for Christianity to make any sense, and the disciples were sure that Jesus was indeed alive.

Every person (including you) must answer the question, “Did the resurrection really happen?” If it didn’t, then you can disregard everything Jesus said. But if it truly did happen, then you must take the words of Jesus very seriously.

In the book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis famously said:

"A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher."

So who do you say that Jesus is? Is He a liar? Is He a lunatic? Or is He Lord?

What Is The Meaning Of Resurrection Sunday?

It’s important to know that Jesus rose from the dead. It’s just as important to know what the resurrection means. Resurrection Sunday means…

Jesus Is Alive

First and foremost, the resurrection means that Jesus Christ is alive today! When you believe in Jesus, you are believing in a living Savior.

First Peter 1:3 says:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...

You’re not believing in someone who died hundreds or thousands of years ago. You’re believing in someone who is alive and doing great things today!

You can be 100% confident that everything Jesus said is true. All of His promises are trustworthy. You can hold onto Jesus through thick and thin, knowing that He truly is holding onto you.

Jesus is alive, and that truly changes everything.

Death Is Overcome

Scripture makes it very clear that the punishment for sin is death and the wrath of God. On the cross, Jesus took the wrath of God that we deserved. He died for our sins, taking the consequences that we should have experienced.

When Jesus rose from the dead, it clearly demonstrated that He had fully satisfied the punishment for our sins. Death no longer had any claim on Jesus.

Romans 6:23 says,

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

What a beautiful passage! We deserve to receive the wages for our sins — physical and spiritual death. But Jesus was given the wages we deserve and we receive the incredible gift of eternal life. We no longer have to fear death, for it has been overcome by Jesus!

Pastor Adrian Rogers said:

"Do you have a loved one who has died? If Jesus Christ is not raised, then they’ve perished. It is over. Life is nothing but a cruel joke. All we can look forward to is the downward spiral to the grave. No! Something as glorious as human life has more meaning than that. Those fallen asleep in Christ have not perished. The Lord Jesus Christ grappled with the iron bars of death and is victorious. Death does not have dominion! Christ arose!"

The Power of Sin Is Broken

When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are united to Him. We are joined so closely to Him that it’s as if we died with Him and then rose again. Our old self that was enslaved by sin truly does die and the resurrected Christ comes to dwell within us. We are given supernatural power to overcome sin and obey God. The sins that once ruled us are broken and we are free to obey Jesus.

Romans 6:5-8 says:

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him...

This is such wonderful news! We have been set free from the miserable power of sin. We no longer must obey the sinful desires that rise up within us. We truly do have the risen Christ in us, and through Him we can have victory over sin.

We can gladly sing the lyrics of the classic hymn “And Can It Be That I Should Gain”:

"Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee."

Satan Is Vanquished

Because both sin and death have been defeated, Satan no longer has any hold over Christians. His accusations against us no longer carry any weight. He can’t condemn us because Jesus has taken all our condemnation.

As Romans 8:1-2 says:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

When Satan points his finger at us and claims we are condemned for our sins, we can point to Jesus who took the condemnation we deserve.

When Satan tries to terrify us with the fear of death, we can call upon Jesus who has destroyed the power of death and given us eternal life. As Hebrews 2:14-15 says:

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

If you know Jesus, you are free from Satan. You are a child of the King.

Jesus Will Return

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can be confident that He will come back.

In Acts 1:9-11 we read:

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

History is not an endless cycle that constantly repeats itself. Jesus will return in a cloud of divine glory. Every person will see Him and bow before Him.

He will banish Satan into the Lake of Fire and create a new heaven and earth. There will be no more sin, sickness, or death.

As it says in Revelation 21:4:

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

Pastor Adrian Rogers talked about the return of Christ in this way:

"First, He came in shame. When He comes again, He comes in splendor.
First, He was despised and rejected. When He comes again, every knee shall bow before Him.
First, He came for crucifixion. When He comes again, it’s for coronation.
First, He came to a tree. When He comes again, He comes to a throne.
First, He was spat upon. When He comes again, crowns will be laid at His feet."

This is the glorious future we look forward to. Jesus is coming again and He will make all things new!

What Is the Meaning of Easter?

In talking about the importance and meaning of the resurrection of Jesus, it’s also important that we talk about Easter. For many years, Easter has been associated with Jesus rising from the dead, but it wasn’t always this way.

Origins of Easter

In the book of Genesis, we learn about a powerful king named Nimrod. He founded many cities, including Babel, Nineveh, Asshur, and Calla. Many wicked and unbiblical things were done in these cities.

After his death, Nimrod’s wife, Semiramis, declared him to be a god. Over time, Nimrod would become known as Baal.

Semiramis also had a son named Tammuz, and she persuaded her people that Tammuz was actually a reborn Nimrod. The people worshiped Tammuz and eventually began to worship Semiramis as well, believing her to be a goddess of fertility. In other cultures, she was known as Ishtar, Ashtur, and Easter.

According to history, Tammuz died at the hands of a wild boar. Legend has it that Tammuz was “resurrected” through the power of Semiramis’ tears. His resurrection, however, was only in the form of new vegetation.

Easter was instituted by Semiramis as a springtime ritual to remember the “resurrection” of Tammuz.

Because of their fertility, rabbits have often been associated with Ishtar (Semiramis). According to Babylonian legend, Queen Astarte (another name for Ishtar) was born from a divine egg that fell from the heavens.

So Why Do Christians Celebrate Easter?

When some people hear about the pagan origins of Easter, they’re surprised. Why do Christians celebrate Easter?

The reality is that Easter is a testimony to the conquering power of the risen Christ. As the gospel spread throughout the world, some pagan rituals were claimed for Christ. The myth of the resurrection of Tammuz was replaced with the glorious truth of the resurrection of Christ. Semiramis, the false god of life, was conquered by Jesus, who gives everlasting life.

Christians celebrate Easter to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are worshiping the true God of life who rose from the dead.

C.S. Lewis wrote about how moved he was by many of the myths embraced by ancient cultures. The reason he was so moved was because they were a shadow or reflection of what Jesus actually accomplished. He said:

"Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened."

In a sense, you could say that Jesus is the “fulfillment” of the myths. We celebrate Easter because we know the truth.

Helpful Resources about Easter and the Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus: The Proof and Meaning

So how can we be sure that the resurrection of Jesus really happened? How can we be confident that our faith is true and not based on an elaborate lie? Let's find out.

Learn More >

Why the Resurrection of Jesus Matters

In our culture, many people believe that Jesus was nothing more than a good teacher. They like what He had to say about loving each other and doing good to one another, but they certainly don’t believe He was the Son of God. They also don’t believe that resurrection happened.

What most people fail to understand is that Christianity has nothing to offer if the resurrection never happened. If Jesus hasn’t risen from the dead…

Our Faith Is Empty

The apostle Paul understood that the resurrection was absolutely essential. In 1 Corinthians 15:14-15, he wrote:

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.

Paul and the rest of the apostles preached that Christ had risen from the dead. They knew that Jesus declared Himself to be both the Messiah and the Son of God. He promised to give eternal life to all who believed in Him. He said He was going to come again and rule for all eternity.

If Jesus wasn’t alive, none of these claims could be true. His words were nothing more than empty promises, and the faith of His followers was also empty.

As Pastor Adrian Rogers said:

"Faith is no better than its object. Why put faith in a dead Messiah? A dead man can’t save anyone. Our faith in Jesus Christ is worthless if He is still in the grave...Confucius died; he’s dead. Buddha died; he’s dead. Mohammad died; he’s dead. Jesus Christ is alive. But if He’s still in the grave, faith is foolish."

But our faith is not empty! Jesus has risen from the dead and every one of His promises is true.

We Have No Forgiveness

If the resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen, then our sins are not forgiven. In 1 Corinthians 15:17-18, Paul said:

And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

We are not able to pay for our sins. We have sinned against an infinitely holy God and our sins deserve His wrath. We can’t take our sins away. Only Jesus can do this.

The resurrection is proof that Jesus really did pay for all our sins. The wages of sin is death. When Jesus rose from the dead, it demonstrated that He had satisfied the penalty for our sins.

Jesus took every bit of punishment that we deserved. He really did receive the wages of sin.

But if the resurrection didn’t happen, then our sins are not forgiven. Jesus didn’t pay for all our sins and we are still under the punishment of God.

When we look at the empty cross and empty tomb, it is a glorious reminder that we really are forgiven and made right with God.

We Have No Future Hope

Our future hope hinges on the resurrection of Christ. Jesus promised to give eternal life to all who hope in Him. He said He would return and make all things new. He went so far as to call Himself the resurrection and the life.

If Jesus isn’t raised from the dead, He can’t keep any of His promises. Our hope of eternal life? Gone. A new heavens and earth? Vanished. The joy of seeing loved ones in heaven? Also gone.

This is why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:12-13:

Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.

But Christ is risen, and because He is risen we will rise with Him. When we die, we will immediately be with Him in heaven. When He returns, we will dwell with Him in the new earth.

Our Bodies Will Vanish

When Jesus rose from the dead, He had a new, glorious resurrection body. Death and sickness could no longer affect Him. When Christ returns, we will also receive resurrection bodies that are invulnerable to sickness and death.

In 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, Paul wrote:

So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

If Christ didn’t rise from the dead, we will not rise either. We won’t receive a new body and there won’t be a new heaven or earth. Death really is the end. We are buried in the ground and our bodies dissolve into the earth.

But Christ did rise and someday we will rise with Him! He will return and all who have hoped in Him will receive new, glorious bodies. We truly do have a sure hope for the future.

We Should Be Pitied

If Christ didn’t rise then Christians should be pitied. After all, we’ve put our hope in a dead man. We believe in a future that won’t come and hope in promises that will never be fulfilled.

This is why Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:19,

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

Paul consistently risked his life for the sake of Christ. He endured beatings and prison and shipwrecks and snakebites. He was willing to give up everything to follow Jesus.

Paul was very keenly aware that if Jesus was not alive all of his sacrifices were for nothing. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, Christians are fools.

But our sacrifices for Christ are not in vain. We are not following a pipe dream. Christ will return and will reward us for works done in His name. This is why Paul could write in 1 Corinthians 15:58,

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

We can steadfastly serve the Lord, confident that our efforts are not wasted or in vain. Christ died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again. When He returns, we will rejoice and be glad!

As Pastor Adrian Rogers said:

"Without the resurrection, we’re just poor, deluded fools, of all people most miserable. A wise man once said, 'If Jesus Christ is still in that grave, nothing really matters. But if Jesus Christ came out of that grave, nothing but that really matters.' Jesus Christ took the sting out of sin, the dread out of death, the gloom out of the grave, and gave us a hope that is steadfast and sure."

Easter and Resurrection Bible Verses

The resurrection of Jesus is not a minor theme in scripture. There are many Easter and resurrection Bible verses that give clarity about what happened at the resurrection.

Here are just a few that we want to share with you in hopes that they speak to you as well and that you will share with those who need to read these.

Mark 15:46-47

Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.

Some have argued that Jesus’ disciples went to the wrong tomb and that Jesus was still lying dead in the actual tomb. This can’t be true. Too many people knew exactly where Jesus was buried. If Jesus was still dead, the Roman soldiers could simply take people to the actual tomb.

Luke 24:2-3

But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

The resurrection is not a fairy tale. In order for Jesus to appear to His disciples, a number of big things needed to happen. Most importantly, He needed to rise from the dead.

Additionally, the massive stone in front of the grave needed to be rolled away. And finally, the guard of Roman soldiers needed to be driven from the tomb. All these things actually happened. Our faith is based on fact and history.

John 11:25-26

Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?'

Jesus spoke these words to Mary as He stood before the tomb of her brother, Lazarus. Jesus promised her that anyone who believed in Him would have everlasting life. Death was not the end because Jesus is greater than death.

He demonstrated His power over death by first raising Lazarus from the dead and then rising from the dead Himself. Jesus truly is our hope in life and death.

1 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

We have a glorious, living hope. Jesus is not still in the grave. He is alive today and through Him we have been born again. Our hope is not based on myths or fairy tales.

Our hope is solidly rooted in the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. This is a hope that won’t disappoint us or ever let us down.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

The resurrection of Jesus guarantees our future resurrection as well. We are not going to be eternal spirits in heaven. Just as God created our first body, so He will create our second one.

When Jesus returns, He will resurrect every Christian who has died (“those who sleep in Jesus”). We will receive resurrection bodies that are incorruptible, not tainted by sin or sickness or pain.

Celebrate the True Meaning of Easter

The truth of the resurrection of Jesus should fill us with overwhelming joy. We have an indestructible, unchanging hope. A plunging stock market can’t take away our hope.

A global pandemic can’t steal our joy. Jesus has risen from the dead and conquered sin, death, and Satan.

Our future is secure in Jesus. Because He is alive, we can joyfully confront whatever comes our way. As the hymn “In Christ Alone” says:

"No guilt in life, no fear in death, This is the power of Christ in me.
From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand.
Till He returns or calls me home, Here in the power of Christ I'll stand."

Jesus is alive, and we live with Him.

Helpful Tools and Resources on Easter and the Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus: The Proof and Meaning

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9 Powerful and Encouraging Easter Bible Verses

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What Is Good Friday and Why Does It Matter?

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Related Sermons and Resources on Easter and the Resurrection

Evidence Of The Resurrection

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Easter...The Unshakable Conquest

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The Week After Easter (5780)

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