Aron Lee Ralston’s story of being trapped under a boulder is just as unbelievable as Jesus’ resurrection. But that doesn’t make it any less true.
Like the narratives of Christ's birth, the accounts of His crucifixion and resurrection are so familiar that we can miss the full intensity of the unexpected event. Though Jesus warned His disciples, they were not at all prepared for the trauma of His death or the shock of His resurrection. Because we know the outcome, it's hard for us to identify with what they must have felt.
Although we may wish we could have been present at Jesus' birth, who wishes to have seen His cruel, torturous death? Few want to read the details of what He suffered. We've sanitized Easter with aromatic lilies and colourful eggs.
But we must know exactly why the Father let His Son hang on the cross and why Jesus chose not to escape it. We need to grasp the glory of His resurrection. What blending of love and power can we see in these events? It's almost as if Jesus could hear the tearful praises of future believers singing:
My sin—O, the bliss of this glorious tho't—
My sin—not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!1
We hope these resources will help you better understand what really happened when Jesus died and rose from the dead, why there was no other alternative, and why it makes all the difference today!
¹Horatio Spafford, “It Is Well with My Soul.”
Just before Christ died on the cross he said, “It is finished!” His death covered over our sins completely. There is nothing left that needs to be finished by man.
First John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to will forgive us our sins....” Forgiveness is what the cross was all about.
Only Jesus Christ the risen Saviour has the power to rescue souls. His suffering brought a saving work of mercy and grace to the whole world. And He invites everyone to come to Him.
Listen to Chuck Swindoll's Easter message, Miracle Announced from a Tomb: “He Is Risen!” and relive the moment of discovery when an earthquake shook the ground and a shining angel rolled aside the stone, announcing, “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead” (Matthew 28:5-6).
Scripture details Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and how His sweat was like great drops of blood. He willingly entered into the suffering so we could be reconciled to God.
Because Jesus triumphed over Satan through the cross, and we are in Him, we are no longer under Satan’s control, rule, or authority. We are beyond his reach forever.
Jesus came to earth with a clear mission in mind. Neither pain, betrayal, depravity, disinterest, or sin would deter His focus or sway His steps away from His ultimate purpose.
The death and Resurrection of Jesus is the most important event in all human history. This three-week reading plan will help you to better understand and appreciate these events and help you prepare for Easter.
If Easter was the most exciting day of the disciples’ lives, quite likely the ascension was the most exciting day of Jesus’ earthly life. He had finished His mission. There was just one thing. Jesus’ departure opened the door to one great risk: being forgotten.