All across the world, come Easter weekend, people will celebrate Jesus’ triumphant defeat of death. Easter weekend, from Good Friday through Easter Sunday, celebrates the history-making resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On Good Friday we remember Jesus’ brutal death by crucifixion. Then, come Easter Sunday we celebrate his resurrection from the dead and all that it means for us as his followers.
The Easter holiday is a brilliant opportunity to reflect on what Jesus’ death on the cross and His miraculous resurrection mean for us today.
The Bible is filled with verses that hint at and unpack the meaning of Easter. These aren’t just in the New Testament, either. From the moment Adam and Eve stepped out of intimate relationship with God, the day of the fall in the Garden of Eden, God has been orchestrating history to welcome us back in.
How Easter Connects The Old And New Testaments
The Old Testament reveals God’s plan, in part, to reconcile with His children. As you read the New Testament and hear the accounts of Jesus’ death you see how they connect and confirm verses from the Old Testament, written thousands of years earlier.
One moving example of this is found in Jesus’ last words. Matthew and Mark both record Jesus as crying out:“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When Jesus spoke these words he used the Aramaic language, which was the common tongue. But he was actually quoting a phrase written in Hebrew, generations before, by the Psalmist, David.
Psalm 22 opens with:“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus’ onlookers on the fateful day He died would have known this famous scripture well and as Jesus quoted it on the cross He sent a powerful message. Through something as simple as quoting a Psalm Jesus was revealing the truth that He was the son of the Hebrew God and that he was, miraculously, fully God himself and fully man.
It was this moment of humility, humanity and submission to God that revealed the truth of who Jesus was to those present at the crucifixion.
What are some Bible verses that discuss the meaning of Easter?
In John chapter 11 we hear the story of Jesus’ friend Lazurus’ death. After Lazurus has been dead for four days Jesus visits his tomb with his family. He reminds Lazurus’ sister Martha that He is the “resurrection and the life”. Martha understands Jesus to be talking about the resurrection to come for all believers when heaven comes to earth. Jesus was actually referring to and revealing both. On arriving at the tomb Jesus simply says: “Lazurus, come out” and Lazurus emerged from the tomb, alive and well.
These significant Bible verses about Easter emphasize that Easter is a celebration of life and the defeat of death. It also reminds us that it’s through Jesus that we can have eternal life.
Romans 6 contains perhaps some of the most provocative teaching about Easter in the Bible. Paul unpicks the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. He explains that as Jesus died so did our old selves and sinful nature. Jesus didn’t just defeat His own death, He defeated the very force of darkness and death in the world.
Jesus’ resurrection was the beginning of new life for all of us.
In this verse, the angel tells Mary Magdalene and the other women who came to the tomb that Jesus has risen. This verse emphasizes that Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and the victory he has over death.
The above three Bible verses are just a few that bring clarity and further depth to the subject of Easter. By working your way through them, and more, you can better understand just how significant Jesus’ death and resurrection are.
Bible Verses About Easter To Encourage You
1 Peter 1:3
The first few verses of 1 Peter are brilliant to turn to when your faith is feeling challenged. In a few short Bible verses Peter reminds us what the events of Easter mean for our eternal futures.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to experience, and live in, a living hope. We are going to inherit an incredible, eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
This verse emphasizes the vast power of God revealed in raising Jesus from the dead. As we read “it was impossible for death to keep a hold on him” we are reminded that no power, even the power of death, is greater than our God.
This poetic passage in Isaiah is a brilliant verse to turn to when you’re facing difficult times. It reads:
“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.”
This whole chapter in Isaiah is full of uplifting reminders that we worship a God who is sovereign over all. We can trust in the immeasurable strength and power of God. And, we know that there is a future with Him that’s free from all pain and suffering.
The Now And Not Yet
We live in the goodness of Jesus triumph over death today. We are empowered and equipped to live a life that overcomes the powers of darkness today. But, we also live in the tension of the now and not yet. While yes, Jesus has overcome all. We still live in a fallen world.
Jesus cried ‘Tetelisti‘ on the cross. This is a Hebrew word typically used after a sacrifice; it means ‘it is finished’. As Jesus spoke this word he used the perfect tense. Essentially, that means something of the past that has present application. It’s something of the past that still impacts us today.
So, as Jesus said ‘Tetelisti‘ he was definitively saying, ‘it is finished’, ‘I have triumphed over death; your salvation is complete and secure’. But, He was also highlighting the now and not yet of our salvation. There is an ongoing working out of our reconciliation to God that will only reach total completeness when we are made anew.