I’ve written about Easter for many years. This year I thought that I’d do the same, but that I would use a chapter out of a book about Bible stories that I’m writing for adolescents. I hope you enjoy it…
The True Easter Story
No, Easter is not about Easter egg hunts or eating chocolate bunnies and eggs from ‘Easter baskets.’ Here’s the real deal:
After Jesus died on Good Friday, He was buried in a cave with a really heavy rock placed over the entrance that would be really hard to move.
On Saturday, the priests had soldiers stand guard at the tomb so that no one could steal Jesus’ body and claim that He was alive.
Yet early Sunday morning (Easter morning), Jesus’ mother and one of His friends (also named Mary) came to the tomb. Just as they arrived, an angel appeared and rolled away the stone. All the soldiers fainted.
The angel told the two women that Jesus was not in the tomb, because God had resurrected His Son from death to life!
Nothing is more important than this event. God put His new and last plan in motion – washing us clean from our sins with the blood of His Son so that we can stay in the presence of His love forever! It’s not because we did anything to earn it; it was a gift from God because He loves us so much.
Mary and Mary ran off to tell the apostles that Jesus was alive. While they were running, they met Jesus along the way. They were overjoyed. Jesus told them where the apostles could find Him.
The apostles did not believe them at first; but two of them ran back to the tomb and only found Jesus’ burial clothes.
Later that afternoon, two of Jesus’ disciples (but not of the 12 apostles) were walking along a road, saddened because of Jesus’ death. Suddenly, Jesus appears to them but keeps them from recognizing Him. He asked them why they were sad. They answered Him by saying that they watched Jesus die; and they were now doubting if He really was the Messiah.
Jesus then taught them about everything that the Bible said regarding the coming of the Messiah, so that they would understand why He had to die. Then He ate bread with them and let them recognize Him. When they did, He disappeared right before their eyes!
At the same time, the apostles were meeting in a house when all of a sudden Jesus appeared in the room. They were frightened because they thought that they were seeing a ghost. Jesus calmed their fears by letting them touch Him, to see that His body was solid.
He also showed them the holes where the nails had been driven through His wrists and feet. Finally, He eats some food in front of them.
The reason that Jesus’ body was solid but could appear and disappear at will, was because His body had changed. Jesus now had all of the powers that He had in heaven, before he came to the earth.
When we leave this earth, we too will get a new body. It will never wear out, never die, and it will have powers that we can’t even imagine.
Jesus then breathed upon the apostles to give them the Holy Spirit.
Eight days later, Jesus appeared to the apostles again and then spent another 40 days on the earth before He returned to heaven. During that time, He was seen 500 times by various people.
Jesus met with the apostles and told them to go all over the world, making new disciples for Him, and to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Then, Jesus opened their minds up and gave them a complete understanding of the Old Testament and everything that He had said, so that they could tell everyone about their Easter gift. And that is something that we are all supposed to do.
When Jesus finished speaking, He rose up to heaven while the apostles watched. Then, two angels appeared to give them God’s promise that Jesus would come back.
The apostles then understood that everything Jesus said was the truth. They also knew that Jesus’ promise of coming back was true – His promise of coming to be with us forever, where we all live filled with love.
That’s the true Easter Story. Happy Easter!