“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” Matthew 28:5-6
He. Is. Risen. Christ is Risen, indeed, alleluia!
I hope you are celebrating this wondrous feast day!
In addition to all the festive contemporary and traditional hymns to honor this day of days, here are a couple of my personal Easter favorites from Keith Green:
A blessed Easter to you, dear Reader. Our Brother, dearest Friend, and Savior Jesus has conquered death The Father’s love is lavished upon His kids – we are free, indeed!
Christ Jesus has won new life for us! Enjoy this Resurrection day and spread the most wonderful news ever! The contrast between these two paintings from William Blake (1757–1827) give me cause for reflection, contemplation and then, jubilation! Notice how the first piece looks like the angels guarding the Ark of the Covenant.
Christ in the Sepulchre, Guarded by Angels
The Resurrection- The Angels rolling away the Stone from the Sepulchre
- Judas betrays Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is arrested. (Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11)
- The first trial before Annas (John 18:13-24)
- The second trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:53-65, Luke 22:54)
- Peter’s denials (Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:55-65, John 18:25-27)
- The third trial before the Sanhedrin (Matthew 27:1, Mark 15:1a, Luke 22:66-71)
- Judas commits suicide (Matthew 27:3-10, Acts 1:18-19)
- The fourth trial before Pilate.
- Jews accuse Jesus
- Pilate questions Jesus “Are you a king?”
- Jesus aswers “My kingdom is not of this world.”
- Conclusion “I find no guilt in him.” (Matthew 27:2, 11-14, Mark 15:1b-5, Luke 23:1-5, John 18:28-38)
- The fifth trial before Herod Antipas
- Jesus Mocked and put in a royal robe and sent back to Pilate. No accusation (Luke 23:6-12)
- The sixth trial before Pilate
- Pilot offers to release a man.
- Crowd asks for Barabbas.
- Jesus innocent of all charges. Luke 23:14
- Jesus lead away to be crucified to satisfy the people.
- Jesus is scourged and Mocked. Matthew 27:15-26. Mark 15:6-15, Luke 23:13-25, John 18:39-19:16
- Jesus led out to be Crucified. 9:00 am
- Journey to Golgotha (Matthew 27:31-34 Mark 15:20-23 Luke 23:26-33a John 19:17)
- The first three hours of crucifixion. Jesus crucified between two criminals (Luke 23:33b, John 19:18)
- Jesus’ garments are divided (Matthew 27:35-36 Mark 15:24 John 19:23-22)
- Sign over Jesus Head “this is Jesus the King of the Jews”
- “Father forgive them; for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:23b)
- Jesus Mocked
- By those passing by (Matthew 15:29-30)
- By the Religious officials (Mark 15:31-32 )
- By the soldiers (Luke 23:36-37)
- By the other criminals (Luke 23:39)
- Jesus forgives the repentant criminal “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:40-43)
- Jesus presents his Mother to John. “Behold your son”… Behold, your Mother” (John 19:25-27)
- The Final three hours of crucifixion.
- There was darkness from 12:00 to 3:00p.m. (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44-45)
- 9th hour. Jesus uttered the words “Eli Eli Lama Sabchthani that is My God, My God, Why hast Thou Forsaken Me.” (Matthew 27:46-49, Mark 15:34-36 )
- “I am Thirsty” (John 19:29-30)
- “It is Finished” (John 19:30)
- “Father, Into thy Hands I Commit My Spirit” (Luke 23:46 )
- He breathed his last and died at 3:00p.m.
- Responses to Jesus’ death.
- Veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38 , Luke 23:45)
- There was a great earth quake (Matthew 27:51)
- Tombs were opened and dead saints walked around (Matthew 27:52-53)
- Centurion “Truly this was the Son of God!” “Certainly this man was innocent” (Matthew 27:54. Mark 15:39, Luke 23:47-49)
- Multitudes beat their breast (Luke 23:48)
- Women watched from a distance (Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41, Luke 23:49)
- Soldier find Jesus Dead. Jesus’ Side pierced. “Out comes blood and water” Proof Jesus is dead (John 19:34)
- Jesus buried by Joseph and Nicodemus in the garden tomb (Matthew 27:57-60, Mark 15:43-46, Luke 23:50-54, John 19:38-42)Tomb is sealed and soldier stationed to guard the tomb (Matthew 27:61-66, Mark 15:47, Luke 23:55-56)
Old Testament Parallel
- I cry out to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Psalm 142:5
- Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; you are my crag and my stronghold. Psalm 71:3
- O LORD, I cry to you for help; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Psalm 88:14
- My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress? Psalm 22:1
Thursday’s Events One of the most, if not the most intimate moments between Jesus and his disciples (Mark 14:12-42)
- Preparation for the Passover (Matthew 26:17-19, Mark 14:12-16, Luke 22:7-13)
- Jesus eats the Passover with his disciples.
- Jesus washed the disciples feet (John 13:1-20)
- Identified Judas as the betrayer (Matthew 26:21-25, Mark 14:18-21, Luke 22:21-23, John 13:21-30)
- Dispute over who was the greatest (Luke 22:24-30)
- The First Prediction of Peter’s denial (John 13:31-38)
- Institution of the Lord Supper (Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:17-20, 1 Cor 11:23-26)
- Conversations during supper.
- Question about his destination, the Father, and the Holy Spirit answered (John 14:1-31)
- Vine and the Branch (John 15:1-17)
- Opposition from the world (John 15:18-16:4)
- Coming and ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:5-15)
- Prediction of joy over His resurrection (John 16:16-22)
- Promise of answered prayer (John 16:23-33)
- Jesus’ high priestly prayer (John 17:1-26)
- They sang a hymn and left the upper room for Mount of Olives and the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26)
- The Second prediction of Peters betrayal (Matthew 26:30-35, Mark 14:26-31, Luke 22:39-40a, John 18:1)
- Jesus three agonizing prayers in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:40b-46)
(Christ in Gethsemane by Michael D. Obrien)
From the Movie The Passion of the Christ
Old Testament Parallel
- Exodus 12.1-14
- Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever. The hills stand about Jerusalem; so does the LORD stand round about his people, from this time forth for evermore. Psalm 125:1–2
- Make me understand the way of your commandments, that I may meditate on your marvelous works. Psalm 119:27
- Remember your word to your servant, because you have given me hope. This is my comfort in my trouble, that your promise gives me life. Psalm 119:49–50
- Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me. John 14:1
- In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday, I will complain and lament, and he will hear my voice. Psalm 55:18
The gospel writers do not tell us what Jesus did on this day sometimes referred to as “Silent Wednesday.” I have thought about what Jesus might be doing today. Resting. Having dinner with his friends and disciples. Praying alone. Healing. I don’t know.
Lots of movies have been produced over the years representing what Christ’s life might have looked like for some of us visual learners – and everyone else, too. Lori and I watch Mel Gibson’s “Passion of Christ” on Good Friday night. The movie is definitely not for the feint of heart, but I believe comes closest to picturing the reality of the gruesome and horrific death of our Friend.
The pictures below are from Matthew: The Visual Bible. When I first watched this video series which is word for word from the book of Matthew, I was captured by how Jesus was portrayed as a man of joy, laughter, warmth, relationship, and tenderness. So very inviting! We love you Jesus, thank you so much for loving us and showing us the love of the Father!
Old Testament Parallel
Isaiah 50.4-9 Coming face to face with the Passion of Jesus described in great detail.
- O tarry, and await the LORD’s pleasure; be strong, and he shall comfort your heart; wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:1
- Show us your mercy, O LORD, and grant us your salvation. Psalm 85:7
- For you are my hope, O Lord GOD, my confidence since I was young. I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother’s womb you have been my strength; my praise shall be always of you. Psalm 71:5–6
- For one day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room, and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked. Psalm 84:9
- Save me, O God, for the waters have risen up to my neck. I am sinking in deep mire, and there is no firm ground for my feet. I have come into deep waters, and the torrent washes over me. I have grown weary with my crying; my throat is inflamed; my eyes have failed from looking for my God. Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. Psalm 69:1–5