Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after his crucifixion. Easter is the fulfilled prophecy of the Messiah who would be persecuted, die for our sins, and rise on the third day. (Isaiah 53). Remembering the resurrection of Jesus is a way to renew daily hope that we have victory over sin. According to the New Testament, Easter is three days after the death of Jesus on the cross.
Easter follows a period of fasting called Lent, in which many churches set aside time for repentance and remembrance. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Friday, the day of Jesus' crucifixion. The 40 day period was established by Pope Gregory 1 using the 40-day pattern of Israel, Moses, Elijah and Jesus' time in the wilderness.
The week leading up to Easter is called The Holy Week, or "Passion Week", and includes Palm Sunday (the day Jesus entered Jerusalem and was celebrated), Maundy Thursday (the "Last Supper" where Jesus met with his disciples to observe Passover), and Good Friday (when Jesus would be crucified on the cross). Easter is a very significant date within Christianity and is the foundation of the Christian faith. Jesus, the Son of God, fulfilled prophecy and through his death, has given the gift of eternal life in heaven to those who believe in his death and resurrection. Read the entire Biblical account of Resurrection Day inMatthew 28,Mark 16, andLuke 24.
What is the meaning of Easter?Easter is the day when we celebrate Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Jesus is the Son of God and heroically gave His life to die for our sins. On the third day after He died -- the day we now celebrate as Easter Sunday -- His friends went to His grave, and found that He had risen from the dead. They saw an angel who told them, "Don't be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as He said it would happen."
Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday; now He offers to you the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins.This is the true story of Easter, and how it can change your life.Here are 4 principles that tell how you can receive the gift of God for your life.
1. God Loves You!
The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" 2. All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.
The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.” 3. God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life -- of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."
God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior. 4. If you want to accept Christ as Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:
"Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."
Easter - the Resurrection of Jesus
Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21, Acts 1
The Tomb Is Empty!
Angels announce that Jesus has risen from the dead.
Jesus' body was hastily placed in a tomb on Friday afternoon. There was no time to properly prepare the body for burial with spices and ointments according to Jewish customs. No work could be done on the Sabbath, so that task had to wait until Sunday.
Early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and several other women went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. When they arrived, they found the tomb had been opened already. When they went in, they did not find Jesus' body, and they wondered what had happened.
Suddenly, two angels in dazzling white clothes were there. The women were terrified, but the angels said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you that He would be turned over to sinful men, be crucified, and rise again on the third day!"
The women ran back to tell Jesus' apostles what they had seen. Peter and one other apostle went to the tomb to see for themselves. They looked in and saw the linen cloths that Jesus' body had been wrapped in but nothing else. Then they went home, amazed and confused.
Jesus Ascends to Heaven
Jesus remained on earth for 40 days after He was resurrected from the dead on that Sunday morning (Acts 1:3). He appeared again to the apostles at the Sea of Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) and on a mountainside in Galilee. He also appeared to more than 500 others (1 Corinthians 15:6).
Jesus' parting words to His disciples were,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.(NRSV, Matthew 28:18-20)
When it was time for Jesus to return to heaven, He led His disciples out to a place near Bethany, a village on the slopes of the Mount of Olives about 2 miles (3 km) from Jerusalem. Jesus lifted up His hands and blessed them. Then He ascended to heaven, and the disciples lost sight of Him in a cloud.