Easter Sunday

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This day that is now celebrated in the western world with bunny’s and chocolate and hiding painted eggs, is actually about so much more. In fact bunny’s and chocolate have absolutely nothing to do it it! The real story is so much better than a magical bunny hiding treats for children to find. The real story is one that if it is true, and Christians believe it is, actually changes EVERYTHING.

Many people have been raised from the dead. Of course its not a common occurrence! But it has been recorded, specifically in the Bible. All those people died again, except one. Jesus. So what exactly happened and why does it matter so much people are willing to die for this truth?

You can learn more about Jesus birth, life and even death elsewhere on our website. Briefly though Jesus is the Son of God, yet he was born in human flesh over 2000 years ago. He lived somewhat ordinary life for about 30 years. Then he began what we call his public ministry which lasted 3 years where Jesus traveled around teaching, healing, raising the dead and various other miracles. During this time the people started to recognize that Jesus was the long awaited saviour the Jewish people had been waiting for. While this was happening the religious leaders were going in hostility towards Jesus, as he threatened their control over the people.

They tried various ways to discredit him and stop what he was doing but nothing worked. So eventually they went to drastic measures. The high priest said, “it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” John 11:50. It as decided that Jesus must be killed. Yet the Jewish people were at the time captives of the Roman Empire and were not allowed to sentence anyone to death, so they brought Jesus to the Roman governor. After some persuading the man agreed to have Jesus whipped and crucified, even though he believed Jesus to be innocent.

So Jesus was killed on the Friday, his disciples took his body and placed it in a rock tomb. The religious leaders were worried the body would be stolen by the followers to validate Jesus claim that he would rise from the dead, so they set guards to watch and sealed the tomb with a large stone. Jesus body remained in the cold hard tomb Friday, evening and all day Saturday. Then on Sunday morning some of the women who followed Jesus came to put more spices and ointment on the body, as was their tradition at the time.

When they arrived they found that the stone was moved and the body was gone! So what happened?
Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly what happened inside the tomb before that incredible moment.
But we can use our God given imaginations. You can picture the lifeless body of Jesus being placed in the tomb, by his devastated and disillusioned friends and followers. Three days in the tomb, the physical body of this man who claimed to be not merely man, but also God. The long awaited savior… cold, dead. Not killed in a battle to take over, but falsely accused by people who hated him and murdered in great humiliation.

It’s early Sunday morning, the sun hasn’t yet risen. That cold, dead body laying on a cold stone bed, and with a flash of light that heart begins to beat, the lungs pull in a breath! Blood pumps through veins. Yet this body is not merely re-animated, but a completely new type of being. Jesus sits up! Alive! Living and never to die again. He shows himself to the two women who came to his burial place. They don’t know its him because they never expected it. The sweetest moment happens though. One of them asks who she think to be the gardener, where the body has been moved. Jesus says her name, “Mary”. And she know his voice! When he says her name, she realizes its Jesus. He is alive. He tells her to run and tell the rest of the disciples that he is not dead, but alive.

So you can see why this story so spectacular. If what Jesus said is true, and that he did indeed rise from the dead, than we must ask ourselves the question, “What does that mean for me?”.
Well, Jesus made it very clear what it means for us in scripture. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 Jesus is the way to God. This is what Easter is all about, not colorful eggs and sweets. Rather the most incredible thing in all of human history! God became man, dwelt among us, died and was raised to life again.

Later on we read that after spending some time with his followers and friends, Jesus actually rose through the air to be with his Father, God in heaven again. It must have been incredible to see. The disciples stood transfixed, starring into the space, when angels appeared and told them, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Act 1:11. There are two very interesting and important things to end this story. First that Jesus kept his body! He didn’t go back into a non-corporeal being, he returned to heaven and is right now seated at the right hand of God in his physical, resurrected body! And Secondly, that he is return one day. One day he will come back and finish what he started, making all things right again. Isn’t that wonderful news! This is what Christians celebrate on Easter Sunday.