It is a celebration to remember the cross of Jesus and His Resurrection. Because of what He did for us, we think of Him every day of the year, including Easter. However, on this day, we do not participate in the worldly practices of Easter baskets and such, but focus on Jesus’s death and resurrection alone, in order to not be of the world. We do this because it is essential to the gospel of Christ. As Paul said, 4“I declare unto you the gospel” 4“that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” So as Christians, we lift up the name of Jesus and declare His gospel. We do not celebrate Easter as the world does, but we remember the Lord Jesus on that holiday and every part of the year also. Sure, most church’s put more emphasis on the crucifixion of Jesus and His resurrection during their service, on the weekend that the world celebrates Easter, but that does not mean it is done in conjunction with it. We simply elevate Jesus above all things during this time of year also as a special day to the Lord. Every true Christian also remembers the cross of Jesus and His resurrection every day of the year, in their daily walk. This is what lifts them up and gives them strength to carry on.
To think of the cross, we must first understand what took place there. As Paul said, while he declared the gospel, 4“Christ died for our sins”. This death took place while Jesus was lifted up on a cross at calvary. Nails were pierced through hands and his feet and into the cross the bore Him. He was then left to suffer and die. He bled profusely, but did so for the price of every man and woman’s sin. Our Lord God suffered a great amount of pain, while not even having His Father’s strength to carry Him. It was in that moment of grief, that His Father was not with Him and He was left to carry our burdens on His own. It is recorded that 1“about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This must have been so difficult for the Lord to bear alone. However, He suffered willfully because of His great love for us all. He did this, so that our sins may be forgiven. Now, before His final breath, Jesus said, 2“It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” This was when His suffering ended and the debt for sin was paid.
Three days after Jesus died, He came to life and was resurrected. 4“He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve,” 4“above five hundred brethren at once,” 4“James; then of all the apostles”, and Paul. There were countless number of people that were eye witnesses to these events. One specific account is His appearance to His disciples, and particularly Thomas. It was him who said, 3“except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” This was said after his brethren had just seen Jesus in the same room. Now the Lord could have not shown Himself to him, but He did anyways. So Jesus appeared to Thomas and told him to touch his hands and his side, of which he did and then said, 3“my Lord and my God.” Jesus then said to him, 3“blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Our faith in Jesus is so important. We believe in Him, even without seeing Him. Lastly, John recorded, 3“these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Amen.
Let us pray:
Lord God, I am so grateful to know You and to follow You. Thank You for suffering for my sins on the cross. I can’t even imagine the amount of pain you had to go through for my account alone. Surely You bore by burdens that they may be light in my life. I have forgiveness for my sins because of what You’ve done for me. Where there was only guilt and shame, You have come and replaced those evil feelings with love and mercy. And because of Your resurrection, I have new life. My old life is dead, because You have come and breathed new life into my soul. There is life only found in You, Jesus. Surely, I am so blessed to be led by You, my King. I can’t even imagine my time in this world without You now. I am strengthened by Your presence and have the power to resist temptation, because You are with me. This new life has hope for tomorrow, for You are leading me. Thank You Lord for Your great sacrifice for sins and Your resurrection. This is the reason why I live and have so much joy in my life. My faith is renewed just by knowing what You have done for us. I love You Lord. My hope and trust is in You, God. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
Jesus On The Cross: Matthew’s Account
1Matthew 27:31-50 (KJV)
31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36 And sitting down they watched him there;
37 And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews.
38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
Jesus On The Cross: John’s Account
2John 19:16-30 (KJV)
16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews.
20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Jesus appearing to His disciples on the Third day: John’s Account
3John 20:19-31 (KJV)
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected the Third day: Paul’s Account
41 Corinthians 15:1-8 (KJV)
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.