Easter Explained – Part 7
From You Version

For the last 1,600 years, Christians around the world remember the last days of Jesus’ life during Holy Week. Today is Resurrection Sunday. Easter Sunday remembers the day Jesus was raised from the dead. 

After being executed as a threat to Roman and Jewish power, Jesus laid in his grave for two full nights. For two full nights Jesus’ disciples, followers, and family wept. For two full nights the schemes of Rome, corrupt religion, and darkness seemed to have won…until there was an earthquake. And an angel dressed in white appeared, rolled back the stone covering Jesus’ tomb, and scared the guards away (Matthew 28:2-3). 

At sunrise, a group of women approach Jesus’ tomb to embalm his body (Mark 16:1-2). But as they approach, they see that Jesus’ tomb has been opened (Mark 16:4). And inside the tomb is an angel dressed in white. He tells them, ‘Don’t be alarmed…You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him’ (Mark 16:6). The angel then tells these women to leave the cemetery and tell Jesus’ disciples what they have seen: Jesus is alive! 

But before they could get far, Jesus appears and they immediately bow before their King (Matthew 28:8-9). With his grave behind him, Jesus is now the King of both Life and Death. And he remains the only person in human history to have risen from the dead, never to die again. Later, Jesus tells his disciples that he has been given all authority in heaven and on earth and that he is with them (Matthew 28:18). He then sends them out to make new disciples and citizens of his Kingdom, just before he ascends into the clouds and takes his throne at God’s right hand (Luke 24:51-52). 

Holy Week doesn’t simply remember the final week of Jesus’ life, but the days leading to Jesus’ coronation and enthronement. On Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem like a rival king. He challenged the power structure of the temple on Monday and invited others into his rebellion on Tuesday. On Wednesday Jesus was anointed with perfumed oil, like his forefather King David. Like a monarch, on Thursday he announced a New Covenant treaty with God. And on Friday Jesus was killed as ‘King of Jews’ in a battle with death. But Resurrection Sunday is good news because it is the day Jesus is raised from the dead and is enthroned over all other nations, powers, and rulers. Jesus is the true King of the world, life, and death, just as he claimed to be. 

When people came into contact with the resurrected Jesus, almost everyone responded the same way – they were all terrified. The soldiers guarding the tomb fell down as if dead. The women at the tomb cowered. Jesus needed to tell his own disciples not to be alarmed. The religious elite didn’t even believe Jesus rose from the dead, but were still scared that others believed it! And in one sense, this is the most appropriate response to a King who can wrestle death and win. But another response to Jesus’ enthronement is to run and tell others that good news. 

So I pray that on this Easter Sunday you will accept the good news that Jesus has risen from the dead as the world’s only resurrected King and run to tell others the good news as well.

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