So, Easter commemorates when Jesus hid eggs for the disciples and then he turned all of the rabbits into chocolate, right?
Wait, it doesn’t?!
Some people think Easter is all about Easter egg hunts and chocolate covered bunnies, but Easter is about way more than that. Saying that Easter is about egg hunts and bunnies is like saying a wedding is about the food.
A lot of people also think Easter is about Jesus dying on the cross, but that’s not completely true either… Easter is all about the resurrection of Jesus—it’s about what came after Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
Jesus lived a perfect life on earth. Then, in an act of complete love for you and for I, Jesus took our sins upon himself. He took everything bad you or I have ever done, and he claimed it for himself. It would be kind of like if you broke your Mom’s most precious possession, and your brother raised his hand and said he would go to time out for it so you didn’t have to. That’s essentially what Jesus did, except in this case, time out was death. Jesus volunteered himself up to take your punishment. Why? Because He loves you and He wants to be with you!
But if that was all that happened, wouldn’t you be a little sad? A story that ends in death is never a happy story… and we talk about how the Gospel is the “good news” of Christ. How would a story that ends in a man being crucified and buried be considered good news?
Well, you see, it didn’t end there. Listen to the rest of the story. It’s found in Mark 16:1-8.
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.
So basically, a few women who were close to Jesus decide they need to go pay their respects.
It’s only been a day since Jesus died, and they want to make sure that his tomb smells nice. Kind of like how people bring flowers to grave sites now. And on the way, they’re talking about who is going to help them roll away the stone that’s in front of the tomb. When we talk about these stones, we’re talking massive rocks. They definitely needed to be rolled away by men…quite a few men actually!
But these women had come alone. Their work could be in vain if they couldn’t get the stone out of the way.
But then they get there, and there’s no stone in front of the tomb! They must have been so relieved, to know that they could have access to Jesus without help.
Let’s keep reading:
When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
This seems a little unbelievable, doesn’t it?! Jesus, a man who was pronounced dead, very dead, isn’t in the tomb? I’m sure the women were terrified. And sad!
First, Jesus had died! Now, his body was missing! They immediately assumed someone had come to steal Jesus’s body! But why would they do that? Where had they taken him? The sadness must have been overwhelming! First, Jesus died, and now, they can’t even say their goodbyes to him because someone has stolen His body! How much worse could it possibly get?
But then… they see the angel sitting there…. This might have terrified them even more. You see, back in these days, angels didn’t just appear to anyone. It was so rare to have an angel visit you. Angels meant something heavenly was going to happen! This was the real deal. Something big was happening!t
The women went and told the disciples what they’d heard from the angels, and would you know it? The disciples didn’t believe them.
You see, back then…Nobody believed Jesus would rise from the dead—even the people who spent their entire lives following him.
They all assumed that if Jesus was missing from the tomb, it was because someone stole his body.
Jesus had to appear to each of them, and for one, he even had to let him touch the holes where the nails had been in his hands, and the place where the spear had pierced him. Thomas had to know that this was the same Jesus he had seen die—and Jesus made sure that Thomas did!
You see, nobody was used to people coming back from the dead back then. It seemed crazy! Unbelievable. But Jesus actually did it.
And why is that important? Well, because without the resurrection, Jesus would just be some dead guy who performed miracles and lived a good life. Death would have beaten Him, and death would have beaten God. But Jesus’s resurrection shows us that there is someone more powerful than death, and sorrow, and pain. There is a God who loves us enough to take on all of our sorrow and pain, and then is strong enough to defeat it.
When we put our trust in Jesus, we are putting our trust in someone who conquered death. We don’t trust in Jesus because He was a good guy, or because He did miracles. No, we trust God, ultimately, because He predicted and then pulled off His own death and resurrection. That is something no one else in the world has ever done.
The events of Easter are what separate Jesus from all other gods. Jesus conquered death by coming back to life.
He is the one true God, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, because He is alive!!