This Easter, let’s take the opportunity to reflect on what this time of the year really means. Forget the Easter bunny and chocolates… okay, okay, maybe we can enjoy an Easter egg or three. But in all seriousness, Easter is an important time for Christians, because it’s when Jesus Christ died on the cross for us and rose from the dead on the third day. This is when our sins were forgiven and how we are able to be saved through faith in Jesus (Romans 3:24).
And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for… Here’s the list of 10 Bible verses that tell us all about Easter.
1. A description of Jesus’ crucifixion is prophesied in the book of Psalms, which was written hundreds of years before crucifixion was invented. This prophecy was fulfilled with the crucifixion of Jesus (notably in Matthew 15 and Matthew 27).
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? … Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” — Psalm 22; Psalm 22:11–18
2. John 3:16, one of the most famous Bible verses, tells us about the extent of God’s love for us, that He gave His son to die for us, and that Jesus is the way to salvation.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16 (NIV)
3. Even though people mocked, betrayed and tortured Jesus, He died on the cross for our sins. Because of this, we are saved.
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem. Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. — Isaiah 53:4–5 (NIV)
4. Salvation is through faith in Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” — John 11:25–26 (NIV)
5. Jesus was aware of His impending crucifixion, and predicted His death and resurrection to the twelve apostles.
Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” — Matthew 20:17–19 (NIV)
6. Jesus was so physically weak from His beating, someone else had to carry His cross. On this cross was the reason He was crucified; that He said He was the king of the Jews. Also, this is one of the verses that fulfils the prophesy in Psalms (see #1).
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews. — Matthew 27:32–37 (NIV)
7. At the moment of Jesus’ death, darkness filled the land and the temple was destroyed.
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. — Luke 23:44–46 (NIV)
8. Three women, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James (Luke 24:10), discovered Jesus’ missing body. An angel reminds them that Jesus had previously said this would happen.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. — Luke 24:1–8 (NIV)
9. Jesus appears to the disciples after He is raised from the dead. He still has the scars from His crucifixion.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. — John 20:19–20 (NIV)
10. Jesus was sinless, yet He suffered for our sins. We are called to follow His example and endure any suffering we might come across for our Christian faith, just as Jesus did.
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” — 1 Peter 2:21–24 (NIV)
Which is your favourite Bible verse about Easter?