In John 20:24–30, John described the stirring scene when Jesus appeared to His disciples—except for Thomas—following His Resurrection. Naturally, they were huddled in a closed room in fear for their lives.
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.”
The Devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but the forces of evil are breathing their last. So there’s no need to worry...He has risen! He has risen, indeed!
Had Christ not taken a drastic step, sinners like us would’ve never survived the fall. We would never have been rescued. We would be permanently lost. The cross was God’s incredible response to our extreme dilemma. Christ did something radical.
The Apostle Paul warned us to turn our attention to what really matters—the cross of Christ—even if the world thinks it foolish and weak. Because through the cross, God blesses.
Those who are meek and mild possess a character too wimpy for the times, so we think. We love lions, not lambs. But Jesus demonstrates that meekness isn't weakness—it is incredible strength.
What the world shuns as foolishness, the Lord embraces as wisdom—the wisdom of pain to turn mere followers of Christ into disciples of Christ. Jesus called it “the cup.” To Him the cup was the anguish, humiliation, and torturous death on the cross. To us it means “taking up our cross” and following Him daily.
The Passion of Christ refers to His arrest, trial, and suffering from the Garden of Gethsemane to the crucifixion. Some believe Jesus was a lunatic, some believe He is Lord. Who do you say He is?
If there’s no hope, there’s no spring. But because there IS hope, the winter you’re enduring will end.
Here’s a great fishing story from Chuck Swindoll that helps us understand Peter’s experience in John 21 a little better.
If you want to get beyond the grave you need to trust in the One who Himself has gotten beyond the grave and lives forever.