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The Real Easter Story

Do you know the real Easter story? In this post, we will look at the beautiful story of Easter, showing the perfect love of Jesus.

The real story of Easter is how Jesus died on the cross for us and rose again, conquering death and sin. Now, through Jesus, we can be forgiven of our sins, have a relationship with God and accept the gift of eternal life.

Remember, reflect and celebrate…

John 3:16-18  

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son (JESUS), so that everyone who believes in him (THIS INCLUDES YOU) will not perish (HELL) but have eternal life (ABUNDANT LIFE FOREVER IN HEAVEN). God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

Jesus is the Savior of the world.

Easter is a great time to…

  • remember what Jesus did for you and me,
  • reflect on how Jesus paid the price to bring us life, eternal Life, and 
  • celebrate how Jesus won the victory. He paid the full price for sin. He conquered the grave. He rose. He is alive. 

There is an old song from Bill Gaither that says, “BECAUSE HE LIVES I CAN FACE TOMORROW. BECAUSE HE LIVES ALL FEAR IS GONE. BECAUSE I KNOW, I KNOW HE HOLDS THE FUTURE AND LIFE IS WORTH THE LIVING JUST BECAUSE HE LIVES.” 

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The Easter Story – See what Jesus did for you

The week leading up to Easter was crazy. On the Sunday, Jesus came riding into town on a donkey. The crowds lined the road. They celebrated and praised him. “HOSANNA!”

A few days later ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. The same crowd that was praising Jesus on “Palm Sunday” and wanted to take him as King, were now baying for his blood shouting, “CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!”

silhouette of person standing beside cross during sunset. Jesus died for you on Easter.

God sent Jesus to be the Savior of the World

Jesus was born as a baby. At his birth, the devil thought,” if I can get rid of Him, I would win the battle.” King Herod had tried to kill all the young babies, with the sole aim of “getting rid of” the new-born Savior Messiah. But God gave Mary and Joseph a vision, to flee to safety in Egypt.

When Jesus had grown up and started his ministry, an outright attack took place to try wipe out the Savior. After fasting for 40 days, the devil tried to get Jesus to sell his soul to him. Jesus rejected him.

The devil thought if he could kill Jesus, that he would win the battle. Little did the devil know, that this was all part of God’s plan for Jesus to die on the cross, to pay the full price for sin so that all people could be free and come back into a relationship with God. 

We fall short of Gods standard. God is Holy. He can’t mix with sin. So, God sent Jesus, His Son to be our redeemer and liberator. He is The Savior. Jesus came to pay the price for sin, so that we could come back to God.

He came at the pure spotless Lamb of God and gave his life on the cross so that we could have eternal life, and so that we could be reconnected to God. 

Pray: Dear Father. Today I ask you to reveal the true meaning of Easter to us. Jesus, thank you for what you did on the cross for us. I ask you to touch our hearts and that you fill us with hope as we look at The Easter Story and at what you did for us. In Jesus name. Amen

The Lead Up to the Cross

I want to briefly look at the events leading up to the cross…

In the weeks leading up to the cross, I don’t know if you are aware of it, but Jesus told his followers at least four times that He was going to die, but that He would rise on the 3rd day …

In Mark 8:31 it says, “Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead.

In Mark 9:9 Jesus told his disciples, “… not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”

In Mark 9:30-33, Jesus told his disciples, The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.”

In Mark 10:33-35, Jesus said, “Listen,” we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.

Even at the last supper, Jesus told His disciples that he was about to die for the sins of mankind …

In Mark 14:22 it says, “As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.

And then he continued in v 23, “And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.”

I find it incredible that Jesus shared exactly what was about to happen, even before anyone knew what God’s plan was.

Jesus then went to the garden of Gethsemane. Can you imagine the stress? He knew he was about to be brutally beaten, whipped and that he was going to be tortured and left to die on the cross. 

Jesus’s soul was in anguish.

In Mark 14:34, Jesus said, My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”

Jesus then cried out (v 36) to His Heavenly Father,” Abba Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Jesus could have walked away from what was about to happen, BUT He loved you and me too much!

We are told that Jesus was then arrested, falsely accused and condemned to death on the cross. 

In Mark 15:65 it says, “Then some of them began to spit at him, and they blindfolded him and beat him with their fists. “Prophesy to us,” they jeered. And the guards slapped him as they took him away.”

Early the next morning Jesus was bound and taken to Pilate, the Roman Governor. Jesus was falsely accused of many crimes, but He said nothing.

In Isaiah 53:7-9, written hundreds of years before this event, it records a prophecy about the coming Messiah. It says that he would be oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.”

Back to the events leading to Jesus being crucified on the cross: At Passover each year, one prisoner would be released.

In Mark 15:9-13, Pilate asked, “Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked. (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!

The most demonic onslaught ever took place that day. The enemy thought he was about to win the battle for the souls of mankind, but little did he know that this was all part of God’s plan. God knew that without the shedding of blood there would be no forgiveness for you and I. Jesus, the Saviour of the world was being led like a lamb to the slaughter, so that we could be free. 

Pilate was shocked at what was happening. 

In Mark 15:14, he asked, Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!” So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip.”

Barabbas was a bad man. He had brought destruction. What had Jesus done? He had healed the sick and delivered the oppressed. He had offered hope and life to the down and out but he was led away like a criminal.

They stripped Jesus naked, and they flogged him. He took 39 lashes on his back. In those days, the whips were laced with shells, bone, and lead. Each lash would have dug deep into his back and would have ripped into Jesus’ skin. His back would have looked like a ploughed field after the 39 lashes. Many never survived a Roman flogging. But Jesus allowed this to happen, so that we could go free.

Isaiah 52:14, written hundreds of years before, shows how the Messiah’s appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.” 

After being flogged, Jesus was turned over to the brutal Roman soldiers. 

In Mark 15:15-20 it says that Jesus was “then turned over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified. The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.” 

Jesus was humiliated. Spat on. Beaten. Mocked. But Jesus went through all this for you and me because he knew there was no other way for us to be restored to a relationship with God.  

The Crucifixion

In Mark 15:22 it says, And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” 

Jesus took the nails for you and me. Do you see the underserved love and kindness? He was prepared to suffer greatly. He was paying the price for our sin and wrongdoing. 

The Death of Jesus

In Mark 15:33 it says, “At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock.”

They must have known that something was up!

In Mark 15:34 it says, “Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

God the father, being holy, couldn’t look on his own son, as all our sins and every vile curse of hell was put on Jesus. God had to look away from His son, so that he could look to you and me.

Do you see the grace and the mercy of Jesus? He was prepared to die. Even though He did no wrong, he was prepared to pay the price so that we could be set free.

In Mark 15:37-38 it says, Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.”

John 19:30 it tells us that Jesus then said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

Jesus was saying, IT IS DONE! I have paid the full price for sin. 

In Mark 15:39 it says, “When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!

As Jesus gave up his last breath, an earthquake erupted, the dead began to rise, and the temple curtain tore in two. This is significant as at this stage, under the Old Covenant, only the High Priest could enter God’s presence, through the curtain, into God’s presence. The Priest could only do this after following an elaborate cleaning ritual. If he was found to be contaminated in sin, he would drop dead, as God, being holy, could not mix with sin.

On the cross Jesus ushered in a New Covenant. The curtain tearing in two was God’s way of showing us that he had made a way for all people to be able to come boldly to God once again. He was showing that through the death of Jesus, he had made a way for you and me to come near to God. He had paid the price for the very sin that separated us from God so that we could be reconnected to God.

Hebrews 10:19-22 confirms this where it says that ,we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.” 

The Burial of Jesus

In Mark 15:42-47 it says, “This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.”

Jesus fulfilled a prophetic word written over 600 years earlier.

Isaiah 53:3-4 says, He was despised and rejected— We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!”

Isaiah 53:5 continues, But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”

Jesus took the nails for our sin. He took the beating for our peace. He took the lashes for our healing.

Isaiah 53:6-12 continues, All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.  We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.” 

Unjustly condemned, he was led away. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.”

But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.”

“When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

Jesus fulfilled the prophecy written 600 years before by Isaiah. Think about this…

  • Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be “beaten” and “whipped”. This happened to Jesus. He was beaten and whipped for our peace so that we can be made whole. (Isaiah 53:5)
  • Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be “pierced for our sins.” Jesus took the nails on the cross. And at the time of Isaiah’s writing, crucifixion had not even been invented yet! Jesus once again fulfilled this prophecy. (Isaiah 53:5)
  • Isaiah prophesied that “the Lord would lay on him the sins of us all.”, and that the Messiah would be “oppressed and treated harshly and yet would not say a word.” Jesus fulfilled this too! (Isaiah 53:7)
  • Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be “led like a lamb to the slaughter.” (Isaiah 53:7) Even John the Baptist, when he first saw Jesus exclaimed, “Look the Lamb of God, who takes who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus is the Lamb of God. He was the pure spotless lamb of God who gave his life so that we may live.
  • Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be “buried like a criminal, in a rich man’s grave.” (Isaiah 53:9) Jesus fulfilled this too! Mark 15:42-47 tells us how a rich man named Joseph of Arimathea gave up his tomb for Jesus. 
  • Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would give “his life as an offering for sin” and that he “bore the sins of many.” (Isaiah 53:10) Jesus did this!
  • Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would then “enjoy a long life”, that when the Savior “sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.” (Isaiah 53:10-11) Jesus died on the cross, but on the 3rd day he conquered death and rose from the grave. 1 Corinthians 15:6 confirms that after Jesus rose from the grave, he appeared to “more than 500 of his followers at one time” before he ascended back to heaven. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy too!
  • Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah “will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins”, and that he will; be “victorious” and that “because he exposed himself to death” he would bear the sins of many” (Isaiah 53:12) 

Because of Jesus’s finished work on the cross, we can be made righteous (right with God). Jesus is the Messiah. He is the Savior. He came to rescue us. He won the battle. He is victorious. Jesus did it all!

For Jesus to have fulfilled just these prophecies, written 600 years before he was even born, is outright impossible! 

Statisticians say that you would have had more chance of winning the Lottery 3 weeks in a row, than being able to fulfil these prophecies. Furthermore, Jesus also rose from the grave! 

Let me remind you that in the months leading up to the cross, Jesus even told his disciples what was about to happen. 

In Mark 10:33-35, Jesus said, “Listen,” we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.

Added to this, there are many other prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. The bible even recorded hundreds of years before Jesus was born that he would be betrayed for 30 silver coins. This is exactly what happened!

The evidence is clear. JESUS IS THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD. 

Jesus fought the greatest battle ever fought. It was a battle over sin and death. It was a battle for the eternal souls of all people. 

JESUS WON THE BATTLE SO THAT YOU AND I CAN COME BACK INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. 

cross silhouette during golden hour. The resurrection on Easter.

The Resurrection

Jesus died on the cross to pay the full price of sin so that you and I can go free. He then rose from the grave, defeating sin and death, and paying the full price for every vile curse of hell.  

Mark 16:1-8 it says, “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.”

“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. 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.”

“The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.”

Jesus conquered death. He paid the price for sin and He rose victorious. 

He then walked the earth for 40 days before ascending into heaven. But before he left. Jesus told us to share this Good News with all people. And that’s what I am doing today.

He also told us that one day he would return to fetch his people and to judge the world.

There is a real heaven and a Hell. Life consists of more than just the here and now. 

Do you know Jesus as your Saviour? 

If not, invite Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour.    

God saw that man was separated from Him, so He even sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for you and I on the cross, so that we can come into a relationship with Him. You can start a walk with God, not because of what you do, but because of what Jesus did. This relationship ensures that you and I do not need to face life alone, and this relationship continues into eternity.

John 1:12 … “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (NIV)

The Easter Story is the Time of New Birth and New Life

Jesus paid the full price for you on the cross. That is why Easter is the time of new birth. 

I know we are living in uncertain times. This Easter I want you to see the big picture. Life on earth is short and temporary, but God made a way for you to share eternity with Him.

I want to encourage you to look to JESUS during these times. Keep your eyes on him even in the middle of this battle. God has prepared a place for you to spend eternity with Him. 

Easter is a great time to…

  • remember what Jesus did for you and me,
  • reflect on how Jesus paid the price to bring us life, eternal Life, and 
  • celebrate how Jesus won the victory. He paid the full price for sin. He conquered the grave. He rose. He is alive. 

Jesus won the battle. Jesus is victorious. He has all power and authority in heaven and earth. He is the way-maker. He is the miracle worker. He is the Saviour. He came to rescue us from sin and bondage. You can rest in Him.

“BECAUSE HE LIVES I CAN FACE TOMORROW. BECAUSE HE LIVES ALL FEAR IS GONE. BECAUSE I KNOW, I KNOW HE HOLD THE FUTURE AND LIFE IS WORTH THE LIVING JUST BECAUSE HE LIVES.” (Bill Gaither)

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