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.
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.”
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 afraid that if God really knew you He would disapprove of you? Chuck Swindoll wants you to understand what Jesus' death was all about.
He intended all along to provide a substitute—a stand-in sacrifice that He would accept as payment in full.
I’ve always known what I did in this life mattered on the other side of death. But despite years of theological training, the connection between the two has only recently become clear to me.
Jesus’ resurrection is God’s corrective lens. Like reading glasses, it helps us clearly see the truth about things that matter most.
My worship glorifies God when my focus shifts away from me to who He is and what He’s done. By meditating on what hymns teach me about God, I’m led to greater knowledge and appreciation of Him.
On the first Easter morning, when the stone was rolled away from Christ’s tomb, hope dawned and grace shone brighter than it ever had. For us, though, the monotony and troubles of daily life seem far removed from the miraculous impact of that glorious morning two thousand years ago. Sometimes even Christians get so caught up in the concerns of life that we think, What’s the big deal about Easter anyway?
Stop for a moment and think about this: What if Jesus’ resurrection was a fraud? What, then, is the meaning of your fleeting life on earth?
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.