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).
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.”
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.
Simon, through the power of the Holy Spirit, was transformed into the man he was created to be. Jesus can do the very same for all of us—untying the death ropes and releasing us to live as He created us to live.
Are you without hope or have you forgotten why Jesus’ resurrection matters in your everyday life? Then this lesson is for you! It’s time to discover that Christ’s death and resurrection can transform your whole way of thinking and give you hope, not only in this life but in the life to come.
Many fall prey to the temptation of attending church only on those high Christian holidays such as Christmas and, of course, Easter. Sitting in the congregation only once or twice a year, a visitor might wonder just what all the hubbub is about. An hour-long meeting with a little singing and a little preaching is nice but certainly not life-changing!
Death is one of the greatest fears in life! Many people would do anything to escape it. But there it is, refusing to go away. When pain, suffering, and death threatened Job, he asked, “If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14). Job didn’t ask whether or not a person will rise from the dead at the end of time, but whether or not he or she will continue to live, even though his or her body waits in the grave.