Easter Sunday

Jesus is the son of God,
He came from heaven to earth,
lived a perfect life,
and died on the cross
To pay for our sins
He was raised from the dead and lives in heaven now where He is preparing a place for us.
This is the Easter story.

It is reported in all 4 gospels. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

Reading the story in all 4 books can be confusing. – Western minds read two different accounts and think one is wrong and one is right.

That is incorrect.

The correct approach to 2 different accounts is “how can both of these be true?”, that gives you answers.

The 4 versions fit together perfectly – I don’t understand all of how it happened that Easter Sunday, no-one does, but today I present to you one possible way all the events recorded happened.

Jesus is the son of God,
He came from heaven to earth,
lived a perfect life,
and died on the cross
To pay for our sins
He was raised from the dead and lives in heaven now where He is preparing a place for us.

This is His story.

Matthew 28:1 But late in the week, at the dawning into the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
Matthew 28:2 And behold, a great earthquake occurred! For coming down from Heaven, and coming up, an angel of the Lord rolled back the stone from the door and was sitting on it.
Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.
Matthew 28:4 And the keepers shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

We know from the other books of the Bible that there were at least three ladies that went to the tomb and the stone was rolled away before the ladies got there.

Mary Magdalene started the trip to the tomb with the other ladies but arrived there before them. She arrived when it was still dark, Mark tells us the other ladies arrived when it was light. She must have ran ahead of them.

John 20:1 The first of the sabbaths Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, darkness still being on it, and she saw the stone taken away from the tomb.
John 20:2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.

Mary saw the tomb was empty and left to tell the disciples. She did not see any angels or Jesus at this time. She must have left before the other ladies arrived.

But when the other ladies arrived:
Matthew 28:5 And the angel answered and said to the women, Do not fear, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
Matthew 28:6 He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead. And, behold, He goes before you into Galilee. There you shall see Him. Lo, I have told you.

This was the first part of what they were told while they were at the tomb.
Luke and Mark tell us the rest of what the angels told them.

After they followed the angels instructions and went into the tomb they heard the second part:
Luke 24:3 And going in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
Luke 24:4 And as they were much perplexed about it, it happened that, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.
Luke 24:5 And as they were afraid, and bowed their faces down to the earth, they said to them, Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Luke 24:6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,
Luke 24:7 saying, The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again?
Luke 24:8 And they remembered His words

And then they heard the third part:
Mark 16:5 And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right, clothed in a long white garment. And they were frightened.
Mark 16:6 And he said to them, Do not be frightened. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen, He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him.
Mark 16:7 But go tell His disciples and Peter that He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see Him, as He said to you.

Then they left to tell the disciples:
Matthew 28:8 And they quickly departed from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

We know from what Mark tells us that the ladies were scared and didn’t say anything to anyone. That must mean that they didn’t talk until they arrived to tell the disciples. But remember Mary left before the other ladies arrived. She had already gone to tell the disciples. She did not pass the ladies on the way to the tomb.

Turn to John 20:3 – Mary had arrived to tell the disciples that Jesus body was gone:
John 20:3 Therefore Peter and that other disciple went forth and came to the tomb.
John 20:4 So they both ran together. And the other disciple outran Peter and came first to the tomb.
John 20:5 And stooping down he saw the linens lying, yet he did not go in.
John 20:6 Then Simon Peter came following him and went into the tomb. And he saw the linens lying there.
John 20:7 And the grave-cloth that was on His head was not lying with the linens, but was wrapped up in one place by itself.
John 20:8 Therefore, then, that other disciple also went in, the one who came first to the tomb. And he saw and believed.
John 20:9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture that He must rise again from the dead.
John 20:10 Then the disciples went away again to themselves.

 Peter and John came to the tomb after the other ladies had left. They didn'’t see Jesus or the angels. When John saw and believed, he believed only that Jesus body was gone because the book of John, and all the other books tell us the disciples did not believe Jesus had come back to life.

Mary, quite naturally, followed Peter and John back to the tomb but either didn’t run, or couldn’t keep up with them. But when she arrived she saw the angels and then Jesus:
John 20:11 But Mary stood outside of the tomb, weeping. And as she wept, she stooped down into the tomb.
John 20:12 And she saw two angels in white sitting there, the one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
John 20:13 And they said to her, Woman, why do you weep? She said to them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.
John 20:14 And when she had said this, she turned backward and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
John 20:15 Jesus said to her, Woman, why do you weep? Whom do you seek? Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, Sir, if you have carried Him away from here, tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away.
John 20:16 Jesus said to her, Mary! She turned herself and said to Him, Rabboni! (which is to say, Master!)
John 20:17 Jesus said to her, Do not touch Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brothers and say to them, I ascend to My Father and Your Father, and to My God and your God.

Then Mary Magdalene left to go tell the disciples that she had seen Jesus:
John 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that He had spoken these things to her.

This was her 2nd trip to talk to the disciples. The first time she went to them to tell them Jesus body was gone, now she goes to tell them she has seen Jesus

The disciples did not believe her.

Mark tells us Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene.

Then as the other ladies were going to talk to the disciples:
Matthew 28:9 But as they were going to report to His disciples, behold, Jesus also met them, saying, Hail! And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
Matthew 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid; go tell My brothers that they should go into Galilee, and there they will see Me.

Also, at that time, the Jewish leaders came up with the story they would tell of what happened to Jesus body:
Matthew 28:11 And as they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and declared all the things that were done to the chief priests.
Matthew 28:12 And being assembled with the elders, and taking counsel, they gave enough silver to the soldiers,
Matthew 28:13 saying, Say that His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we slept.
Matthew 28:14 And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will persuade him and make you free from care.
Matthew 28:15 And taking the silver, they did as they were taught. And this saying was spread among the Jews until today.

Then Jesus appears to two of his disciples that were walking to a city called Emmaus. Mark gives us the very short version of that encounter but we need to read it ourselves from Luke 24:13.

Let’s turn to Luke 24:13
Luke 24:13 And behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, it being about sixty stadia from Jerusalem.
Luke 24:14 And they talked to each other of all these things which had happened.
Luke 24:15 And while they talked and reasoned, it happened that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.
Luke 24:16 But their eyes were held so that they could not know Him.
Luke 24:17 And He said to them, What words are these that you have with one another as you walk, and are so sad?
Luke 24:18 And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered and said to Him, Are you only a stranger in Jerusalem and have not known the things which have occurred there in these days?
Luke 24:19 And He said to them, What things? And they said to Him, The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a man, a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,
Luke 24:20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the judgment of death, and have crucified Him.
Luke 24:21 But we had trusted that He was the One who was about to redeem Israel. And besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done.
Luke 24:22 Yes, and also some of our women astounded us, having been early at the tomb;
Luke 24:23 and when they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive.
Luke 24:24 And some of those with us went to the tomb and found it even as the women had said. But they did not see Him.
Luke 24:25 And He said to them, O fools and slow of heart to believe all things that the prophets spoke!
Luke 24:26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?

Jesus is explaining again how His life, His death and His resurrection were not only needed to make us right with God but again he explains that it was all predicted in the Old Testament through many, many Bible passages.

Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins. So we could be forgiven.
So we could go to heaven after we die.

Jesus goes on talking to these two men telling them all the places in the Old Testament where it predicted Jesus life,
Predicted Jesus dying for us, and
Predicted His resurrection, His coming back to life.

Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Luke 24:28 And they drew near the village where they were going. And He appeared to be going further.
Luke 24:29 But they constrained Him, saying, Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent. And He went in to stay with them.
Luke 24:30 And it happened as He reclined with them, taking the loaf, He blessed it, and breaking it, He gave to them.
Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him. And He became invisible to them.
Luke 24:32 And they said to one another, Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us by the way and while He opened the Scriptures to us?
Luke 24:33 And they rose up the same hour and returned to Jerusalem and found assembled the Eleven and those with them.
Luke 24:34 And they said, the Lord has indeed risen, and has appeared to Simon.
Luke 24:35 And in the way they related the things happening, and how He had been known by them in breaking of the loaf.

At first the other disciples and apostles didn’t believe these two men either but then Jesus appears to the apostles (also referred to here as the “Eleven”):
Luke 24:36 And as they spoke this, Jesus Himself stood in their midst, and said to them, Peace to you!
Luke 24:37 But they were terrified and filled with fear, for they thought they saw a spirit.
Luke 24:38 And He said to them, Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
Luke 24:39 Behold My hands and My feet, that I am He! Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see Me have.
Luke 24:40 And when He had spoken this, He showed them His hands and feet.
Luke 24:41 And while they still did not believe for joy, and wondered, He said to them, Have you any food here?
Luke 24:42 And they handed to Him a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb.
Luke 24:43 And He took it and ate before them.
Luke 24:44 And He said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms about Me.
Luke 24:45 And He opened their mind to understand the Scriptures.
Luke 24:46 And He said to them, So it is written, and so it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
Luke 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be proclaimed in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Again Jesus explains to the disciples and apostles that He had to die to cleanse us from our sins.
So we could be forgiven. All we have to do is accept Him and we will get to spend forever with God in heaven.

And He explains that there are many predictions in the Old Testament about Jesus.

We end our reading of the Easter story with:
Luke 24:48 And you are witnesses of these things.

And I would like to add that now you too are witnesses of these things.

Some of you have experienced Jesus,
all of you have now read the story,
you have read about many of the people who saw Jesus after He came back to life,
you have read that the life of Jesus was predicted long before it happened,
and you can read that too in the Bible.

So you are witnesses, what are you going to do about that?

The 4 different versions of the Easter story can be confusing. Until you study them, and think about how they could all fit together.

But as you read the different versions you can see how they fit together perfectly.

Each Gospel book (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were written for a different reason. So each stresses a different aspects of the Easter story. Taken together we get a complete picture of that day.

Romans 3:25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. (New Living Translation)

This is the Easter story:
Jesus is the son of God,
He came from heaven to earth,
lived a perfect life,
and died on the cross
To pay for our sins
He was raised from the dead and lives in heaven now where He is preparing a place for us

If you believe that you can accept Jesus into your life by praying:
Dear Jesus,
please wash away my sins,
Come into my heart,
Be my Lord and Savior,
Amen

Author: Mike Pritchard

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Mike Pritchard Mike Pritchard is the owner of Pritchard Webpages and an international Christian web designer with a passion for internet evangelism. He has over 10 years experience in presenting compelling website content and search engine optimization.

Mike Pritchard is the owner of Pritchard Webpages and an international Christian web designer with a passion for internet evangelism. He has over 10 years experience in presenting compelling website content.

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

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