WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT EASTER?
What is Easter? Easter is a Christian holiday that is dedicated towards the celebration of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. In America and other places, this holiday has been transformed in recent history into a commercialized day that is focused on by many towards candy, gifts, egg-hunting games, the Easter bunny, and family gatherings.
What is the true meaning of Easter? The true meaning of Easter is a celebration of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross in order to provide a way of salvation through the forgiving of sin.
Why did Jesus come to die? Jesus came to live out and show His truth and love. Jesus explains that “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). Jesus’ death is a sacrifice in order to bring those who believe into a right relationship with God. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). There is no access to God in Heaven without Jesus’ death and resurrection.
What happened on Easter? What happened after Jesus’ resurrection? The Friday before Easter, Jesus was falsely accused, tortured, and executed by crucifixion (a slow method of killing by hanging, impaled with nails on wooden beams). After Jesus’ death, He was buried, and three days later, on Easter, Jesus was resurrected to life. He then physically appeared to hundreds of people, showing His power and wisdom before ascending back into Heaven (John 18-21 & 1 Corinthians 15).
What is the Lenten season all about? Do Christians have to celebrate it? The Bible nowhere commands Christians to celebrate Lent. For those who choose to celebrate Lent, it is designed as a 40 day period of dedicated towards fasting and repentance leading into Easter. It’s purpose is to prepare and remind Christians of the celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Where did all of the Easter traditions come from? Should Christians celebrate Easter? Many of the Easter traditions originated in cultural traditions of the past. God warns Christians not to argue about particular days of celebration (Colossians 2:16-17), but that when making daily decisions in lifewe are reminded that in “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). We are also warned that “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). The Bible does call Christians to a regular, ceremonial remembrance of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection through the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-34), but not necessarily through an Easter holiday. Christians should daily celebrate Jesus in their drawing near to Him. Christians have the freedom to celebrate Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection on Easter as well if it builds up their faith (1 Corinthians 10:23).
- “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” (Colossians 2:16-17)
Why did Jesus have to be both God and human? Although this concept of Jesus being simultaneously human and deity (God) is difficult to grasp, it is a biblical and essential fact. Jesus’ birth “under the law” allows the redemption, or purchase, of mankind from under the law (God’s perfect standard). Only a perfect human (Jesus) would be capable and sufficient to keep and fulfill the law. Jesus’ incarnation (coming in the flesh) and sacrificial, substitutionary death allows a way for humans to be adopted as God’s forever children through the paying of the penalty for sin.
Jesus’ incarnation also allowed for his shedding of blood and death because “under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22) Unfortunately the blood of animals is insufficient to sacrificially atone for sin (Hebrews 10:4), so only the shed blood of a perfect God-man could provide a way of salvation.
Jesus’ incarnation allowed him to sympathize with our temptations and trials, yet Jesus remained perfect, holy, and without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus came in the flesh to show and teach us the Truth: that Jesus and God the Father are one (John 10:30, 14:8-11) and that Jesus is the only way of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). World religions and cults teach that salvation can be found by good works or by being “good enough.” The reality is that only Jesus, the God-man, is perfect and able to provide a way for salvation.
- But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)
- For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
- And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 ESV)
Why is Easter so important? Jesus is not simply the “reason for the season,” He is the reason for life and for living. It is our hope and prayer that you deepen in the love of Christ this Easter!
What are the prophecies about Easter? The prophecies about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are numerous, but here are a few from a larger list:
1. Triumphal Entry – Zechariah 9:9, Isaiah 62:11, John 12:13-14, Matthew 21:1-11
2. Betrayed by a Friend – Psalm 41:9, Mark 14:10
3. Sold for 30 Pieces of Silver, Potter’s Field – Zechariah 11:12-13, Matthew 26:15, 27:6-7
4. Judas’ Position Replaced – Psalm 109:7, Acts 1:18-20
5. False Witnesses’ Accused Him – Psalm 27:12, Matthew 26:60-61
6. Silent When Accused – Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 26:62-63
7. Struck and Spit Upon – Isaiah 50:6, Mark 14:65
8. Hated Without Cause – Psalm 69:4, John 15:23
9. Suffered Vicariously – Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:16-17
10. Hands and Feet Pierced – Psalm 22:16, John 20:27
11. Crucified With Sinners – Isaiah 53:12, Matthew 27:38
12. Mocked and Insulted – Psalm 22:6-8, Matthew 27:39-40
13. Given Gall and Vinegar – Psalm 69:21, John 19:29
14. Hears Prophetic Words Used As Mockery – Psalm 22:8, Matthew 27:43
15. Prays for His Enemies – Psalm 109:4, Luke 23:34
16. Side Pierced – Zechariah 12:10, John 19:34
17. Soldiers Cast Lots for His Clothes – Psalm 22:18, Matthew 15:24
18. Not a Bone to Be Broken – Psalm 34:20, John 19:33
19. Buried With the Rich – Isaiah 53:9, Matthew 27:57-60
20. Resurrection – Psalm 16:10, Matthew 28:9
21. Ascension into Heaven – Psalm 68:18, Luke 24:50
Check out these helpful resources:
“How Can I Be Sure I am a Christian?” trustworthyword.com/how-can-i-be-sure-im-a-christian
“How Can I become a Christian?” trustworthyword.com/how-can-i-become-a-christian
“Evidence for Jesus” trustworthyword.com/evidence-for-jesus
The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel