What is Easter Really About?

The meaning of Easter is always overlooked by Easter egg hunting, Easter candy, and Easter gatherings with family and friends. People forget what the most important aspect of Easter is: Jesus's resurrection. In this article, I'm going to explain to you the concepts of Jesus's death and resurrection as well as why they are so important. 

  1. 1. Good Friday: Jesus's Death

    Jesus had lived a perfect life on earth. He spread the good news and got many people to follow him. His time had come. Judas, one of the twelve disciples had betrayed Jesus by kissing him to share his identity with the chief priests and officers, so they could arrest Jesus (Luke 22:47-48). The council of the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law asked Jesus if he was the Messiah. When Jesus responded, “You say that I am,” the accusers sent Jesus to trial in front of Pilate, the Roman Emperor (Luke 22:66-71).

    Pilate did not see the need to make charges against Jesus. Pilate knew Jesus was Galilean, so he sent Jesus to Herod, who was the ruler of Galilee. Herod, excited to see the miracles that Jesus would perform, was disappointed when Jesus wouldn’t answer any of his questions. Herod and his soldiers ridiculed Jesus and sent him back to Pilate (Luke 23:1-11).

    Pilate told the crowd that neither he nor Herod had found any valid reason to kill Jesus. Pilate planned on punishing Jesus and then releasing him, but the crowd continued to demand that Jesus be crucified. The crowd wanted Barabbas, a murderer, to be released and for Jesus to take his spot and be killed. Since he was sick of hearing the people complain, Pilate released Barabbas and sent Jesus off to be crucified (Luke 23:14-25).

    Jesus was executed along with two other criminals, one hung on each side of him. Jesus was stripped of his clothes, pinned to a cross, and a crown of thorns was placed on his head (Matthew 27:28-31). The people mocked Jesus saying, “Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God,” (Matthew 27:40) and “He saved others, but he can’t save himself,” (Matthew 27:42). From noon until three in the afternoon, darkness covered the land. Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” At that moment Jesus breathed his last breath, the curtain of the temple was torn in half from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rock split, and the tombs broke open (Matthew 27:45-52).

    Once Jesus died, one of his disciples named Joseph wrapped Jesus’s body in a cloth and placed him in a tomb. He then rolled a big stone in front of the tomb before leaving (Matthew 27:57-60).

  2. 2. Importance of Jesus's Death

    Jesus’s death was the final sacrifice for the sins of the world. Because of this sacrifice, all people can have a direct relationship with God. With Jesus as the sacrifice, we are no longer bound to the law. Our salvation is based on our faith and submission to Christ. To spend eternity with God, we must be made perfect. Since mankind has a sinful nature and can’t be perfect on their own, we need a Savior. The blood of Jesus covers us, making us appear perfect in God’s eyes. Therefore, without Jesus’s death on the cross, we would have no hope of eternal life spent with the Lord of all creation.

    “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18)

    “For this reason, Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance-now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15)

    “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Colossians 1:22)

  3. 3. Easter Sunday: Jesus's Ressurection 

    The day after Jesus died, the chief priests told Pilate to make sure the tomb is secured until the third day, so Pilate had a guard stand at the entrance to the tomb where Jesus’s body had been laid (Matthew 27:63-66). At the beginning of the week, Mary Magdalene, along with a couple of others, went to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away and Jesus’s body was no longer inside. An angel appeared in the tomb and told Mary that Jesus has risen from the dead. The angel then tells Mary to tell the Disciples and others about the news of Jesus’s resurrection (Matthew 28:2-7).

    Soon after, Mary sees Jesus (Matthew 28:9-10). Jesus then appears to two men walking on a road and they finally recognize that He is the Messiah (Luke 24:13-31). Jesus visits the Disciples. They are amazed that He has risen again (Matthew 28:16-19). Jesus tells them that he will be with them always and they must go preach the gospel to all people. Jesus explains that those who believe will be saved (Mark 16:15-16). Finally, after blessing his Disciples, Jesus ascended into Heaven (Luke 24:50-52).

  4. 4. Importance of Jesus's Ressurection

    Jesus’s resurrection is the point at which Christ overcame death. If we are saved by God, we too have overcome death. Christ died with the old covenant and was raised into a new life. This gives us believers hope, knowing that being reconciled to Christ means that we will be raised again with Him in eternity. Jesus’s resurrection shows that we too will be united with Christ at our given time. We no longer have to fear death knowing that we have a room prepared in God’s Kingdom. When Jesus rose again and ascended into Heaven, He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who are saved. Because of Jesus’s resurrection, we have Christ dwelling in us and with us always.

    “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)

    “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)

    “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

    “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.” (Acts 2:33)

    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in Heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3-4)

All four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) give different details and insights on Jesus's death and resurrection. I encourage you to read these gospels for yourself to get a better understanding of Jesus's life and the suffering he had to endure to be the ultimate sacrifice for us. I pray that moving forward you can celebrate Easter with Jesus Christ as the focus of it!