What is the most important story ever told? What is the true meaning of Easter? For many people, Easter is a time to celebrate spring, eat chocolate eggs, and enjoy a long weekend. But for Christians, Easter is much more than that. Easter is the celebration of the most important story ever told: the story of our salvation.
The Easter story is the story of how God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, and how he rose from the dead on the third day, defeating death and sin once and for all. It is the story of how God offers us forgiveness, hope, and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the story that changes everything.
Breakdown of The Easter Story
Below is a breakdown of The Easter Story: From the Cross to the Empty Tomb and the appearance to his disciples. let’s begin.
The Resurrection of Jesus
The resurrection of Jesus is the central event of the Easter story. It is what makes Christianity unique among all other religions. No other religious leader has ever claimed to rise from the dead, let alone proved it.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, which we call Good Friday. He was buried in a tomb that was sealed with a large stone and guarded by Roman soldiers. On Sunday morning, which we call Easter Sunday, some women who followed Jesus went to the tomb to anoint his body with spices. But when they arrived, they found that the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty. An angel told them, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” (Matthew 28:6)
The resurrection of Jesus is not a myth or a legend. It is a historical fact that is well-documented by the Bible and other historical sources. The Bible records at least ten different appearances of Jesus to his disciples and others after his resurrection. Some of these appearances were to large groups of people, such as more than 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6). Some of these appearances were to people who were skeptical or hostile to Jesus, such as his brother James (1 Corinthians 15:7) and Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-19), who later became Paul, the apostle.
The resurrection of Jesus is also confirmed by secular historians, such as Josephus, a Jewish historian who wrote in the first century AD: “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man … He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again on the third day.” (Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3)
The resurrection of Jesus is the most important event in human history because it proves that Jesus is who he claimed to be: the Son of God and the Savior of the world. It also proves that his death on the cross was not a failure, but a victory over sin and death. It shows that God loves us so much that he gave his only Son for us (John 3:16), and that he has the power to raise us from the dead as well (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
The Empty Tomb
The empty tomb is the most important evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. It is what convinced his disciples that he was alive. It is also what challenges anyone who doubts or denies his resurrection.
The empty tomb cannot be explained by natural causes. Some people have tried to come up with alternative explanations for the empty tomb, such as:
- The disciples stole the body: This theory is implausible because it would require that the disciples overpowered or bribed the Roman guards, who were trained soldiers and would face severe punishment if they failed their duty. It would also require that the disciples lied about seeing Jesus alive and were willing to die for their lie.
- The authorities moved or hid the body: This theory is also implausible because it would mean that the authorities had access to the body and could have easily produced it to stop the spread of Christianity. It would also mean that they were incompetent or dishonest in not securing or revealing the location of the body.
- The women went to the wrong tomb: This theory is also unlikely because it would mean that all four Gospels made a mistake in recording the location of the tomb. It would also mean that Joseph of Arimathea, who owned the tomb and buried Jesus there (Matthew 27:57-60), did not correct their error.
- The swoon theory: This theory suggests that Jesus did not really die on the cross, but only fainted or went into a coma. He then revived in the coolness of the tomb and escaped. This theory is absurd because it ignores the fact that Jesus was severely beaten, whipped, and nailed to the cross, and that a Roman soldier pierced his side with a spear to confirm his death (John 19:31-37). It also ignores the fact that Jesus appeared to his disciples in a glorified body that could pass through walls and ascend to heaven (John 20:19-29) (Acts 1:9-11).
The empty tomb is the strongest evidence that Jesus is alive. It is what changed the lives of his disciples and millions of people throughout history. It is what gives us hope and joy in this life and the next.
The Appearances of Jesus
The appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his resurrection are the most important events in the Easter story. They are what confirmed the reality of his resurrection and the truth of his message. They are also what empowered his disciples to spread the gospel to the world.
The appearances of Jesus helped to convince his disciples that he was truly alive. Before his resurrection, his disciples were afraid, confused, and discouraged. They had abandoned him at his arrest, denied him at his trial, and doubted him at his death. They did not expect him to rise from the dead, even though he had predicted it several times (Matthew 16:21) (Mark 8:31) (Luke 9:22). They were not gullible or hallucinating; they were skeptical and realistic.
But when they saw Jesus alive, they were transformed. They recognized him by his voice, his wounds, and his actions. They touched him, ate with him, and talked with him. They saw him perform miracles, such as catching a large number of fish (John 21:1-14) and ascending to heaven (Acts 1:9-11). They heard him teach them about the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit, and the mission of the church (Luke 24:44-49) (Acts 1:3-8). They experienced his peace, joy, and love.
The appearances of Jesus also gave his disciples the courage to spread the gospel message to the world. Before his resurrection, his disciples were timid, fearful, and hiding. They were afraid of the Jewish leaders who had killed Jesus, and the Roman authorities who had crucified him. They were not brave or bold; they were weak and cowardly.
But when they received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they were filled with power, boldness, and wisdom. They preached the gospel with conviction, performed signs and wonders with authority, and faced persecution with joy. They testified to the resurrection of Jesus with confidence, knowing that they had seen him alive and that he was with them always. They turned the world upside down with their message of salvation.
What is the significance of Easter?
Easter is a Christian festival and cultural holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is the central event of the Christian faith, as it proves that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. It also shows that God loves us so much that he gave his only Son for us, and that he has the power to raise us from the dead as well. Easter is the most important story ever told because it is the story of our salvation.
Easter follows Lent, a period of 40 days observed by acts of penance and fasting. Easter is also associated with various traditions and symbols, such as eggs, bunnies, flowers, and baskets. These traditions and symbols have different origins and meanings, but they generally represent new life, hope, and joy.
Easter is a time to remember and celebrate the amazing love and grace of God, who gave us the greatest gift of all: his Son, Jesus Christ. Easter is also a time to rejoice in the hope and victory that we have in Christ, who conquered death and sin for us. Easter is a time to share the good news of the gospel with others, and to live in gratitude and obedience to our Lord.
I hope this helps you understand the significance of Easter.
Last Words of Conclusion
The Easter story is the most important story ever told because it is the story of our salvation. It is the story of how God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, and how he rose from the dead on the third day, defeating death and sin once and for all. It is the story of how God offers us forgiveness, hope, and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
How will you respond to this story? Will you ignore it or reject it? Or will you believe it and receive it? The choice is yours. But remember this: The Easter story is not just a story; it is a reality. And it can change your life forever.
If you want to know more about Jesus Christ and how you can have a personal relationship with him, please click here to see other bible stories. May God bless you as you seek him this Easter season.