Celebrating Easter in the Bible

Many Christians say that their favorite holy day is Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday. It is the celebration of the Risen Savior, Jesus the Christ. It is a celebration of His victory over death and how as believer’s we too may have victory over death when we believe in what Jesus did for us. It is the culmination of the Gospel, or good news that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead. I am a Christian and I would like to share with you some verses in the Bible that have inspired me throughout the years.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57:
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? [56] The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. [57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This verse, written by St. Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, follows a popular passage that folks use to reference what is known as the “rapture” of the church; a time in the future when believers are “caught up” with Jesus before the great tribulation on earth. The verse is a blessed hope of the believer that because of what Jesus did on the cross more than 2,000 years ago, we can have victory over death. The Bible promises eternal life to all who believe in what Jesus did. Jesus willingly died a cruel death on the cross as the Perfect Lamb sacrifice for all who believe. The Bible says that Jesus went to the cross with “joy” (Heb 12:2). He did it because He loves all people in the world. The Bible says that no one is worthy to be with God because we all have sinned and fallen short of His glory (Rom 3:23). The good news is that when God looks at one who believes in Jesus’ death, as a substitute, He sees Jesus because Jesus’ blood redeems us as a purchased possession (Eph 1:6, 12-14). Jesus’ resurrection is proof of victory over death.

Jesus did not ascend into heaven immediately after he rose from the dead. He spent some days appearing to people who were still on earth. There were witnesses to the death and burial of Jesus and there were witnesses to resurrection as well.

Mark 16:9:
“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. [10] And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. [11] And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. [12] After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. [13] And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. [14] Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”

All those people saw Him in his glorified body; yet no one believed. One of the apostles, Thomas (called doubting Thomas), was not there when Jesus first appeared to the other apostles, so he doubted that anyone saw Jesus after His death. When Jesus appeared again Thomas was there. The apostle John records a famous passage for which Thomas was named the doubting one. Jesus told Thomas to touch his wounded hands and side so that he can believe that it was really Jesus. Then Jesus says: ” …Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. “(John 20:29) Today we cannot see Jesus, but because the Holy Spirit inspired holy men to write down this history; we can believe without seeing. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1). Our evidence is the historical record that we call the Holy Bible.

Matthew 28:5-9:
“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.[6} He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. [7] And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.[8] And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. [9] And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.”

He is not here: for he has risen! How is that for inspiration? Jesus did exactly what he said he would do “raise up the temple after three days” (John 2:19-21). Jesus was not speaking of the temple, the physical building, which was the pride and joy of the Jewish people. Jesus was speaking of His body. Jesus was crucified, dead and buried and rose on the third day, according to the Scripture.

Acts 1:6-9:
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? [7] And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. [8] But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.[9] And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”

As I mentioned earlier, it is written that Jesus made appearances multiple times in His glorified state, before He went to be with the Father in heaven. The disciples did not understand everything that Jesus was teaching because it was still a mystery, to be revealed later by St. Paul. They thought that when Jesus rose from the dead that he was going to restore the kingdom to Israel right then. They did not understand that there were still things in prophesy that needed to be revealed before Jesus would come back. Jesus left a “Promise” with the disciples before He went to heaven. That “Promise” is the Holy Spirit which indwells and seals the believer until the day of redemption. Believers are His purchased possession; He bought them with His blood (Eph 1:12-14). Believers are sealed until the day of redemption: it is a secure thing.

Acts 7:55-58:
“But he [Stephen], being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, [56] And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. [57] Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, [58] And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.”

Of all the inspiring verses in the Bible that talk about our Lord’s resurrection and the things that accompanied it, I am most inspired by this passage. This is Stephen, who was looking into heaven. Stephen was preaching about the Lord and he was not well received. In fact, they hated what he was saying so much that they took him outside of the city and stoned him to death. Stephen saw Jesus (the Son of man) standing on the right hand of God. Jesus was with the Father and this was after he ascended to heaven.

And look who was there with Stephen in his final hours… that young man who everyone was honoring with their clothes, whose name was Saul. This was Saul of Tarsus, also known as “Paul” of Tarsus. Saul was a murderer of Christians. He was the leader of the pack. When you know the rest of the story, that the glorified Jesus appears to Saul later, you can understand why I am so inspired. God reached down and saved the dirty, rotten soul of Saul. And Saul, renamed Paul, went on to be one of the greatest missionaries and witness for Christ of all time. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the majority of the New Testament in the Bible.

I say if God could save a man like Saul, He can save anyone. All you need to do is to believe in what Jesus did for you. He was crucified, dead and buried and rose from the dead to prove victory over death. This is the essence of why we celebrate Easter. We remember our risen Savior and the amazing love that He has for all who believe. You can meet my Savior HERE.