Where to Read the Easter Story in the Bible
This morning I was thinking about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and reflecting on living in fear vs. faith. I’m so thankful that Jesus died for my sin and that he not only died, but that he LIVES! The Resurrection of our Lord is a celebration indeed! In my reflections, I wanted to share a few passages with you. Recently I received this email question from a reader:
How do I know where to read the Easter story in the Bible?
I love God’s Word so much that there was a part of me that wanted to write back and ask, “Where can you NOT find Jesus’ resurrection in the Bible?” From cover to cover, God’s Word is a love story, one that points to Jesus from beginning to end. Without the resurrection, we have nothing as Christians. Just good stories and a moral man. The Resurrection of Jesus demands our belief that Jesus was not just a man; he is GOD. But I understand the question the reader is asking. Today I wanted to share the passages of where to read the Easter story in the Bible.
Passage 1: Matthew 26-28
Reading these three chapters will take you from Jesus’ time in the garden of Gethsemane through the end of the Gospel story as written by the apostle, Matthew. Matthew gives details to the behaviors of various key characters of the time, including Judas and Pilate. Matthew was definitely a people-watcher. Matthew concludes his book with Jesus ascension and final promise. Don’t miss the beautiful declaration in the last verse of the last chapter of the book:
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Passage 2: Mark 15-16
The apostle, Mark, provides a straightforward account of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. In two chapters, he relays his view directly and precisely. I find it interesting how he ends his narrative with the proof of the confirmation that Jesus was more than a man. The next to last verse explains how Jesus ascended to heaven and then Mark closes with “the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” And isn’t it how awesome that he continues to confirm his word in our hearts today?!
Passage 3: Luke 22-24
Luke chapter 22 begins with Judas agreeing to betray Jesus. Luke’s personal account of the Gospel story is very detailed and reveals his attention to the physical process of the crucifixion. While there are only three chapters to Luke’s account, each chapter contains more verses than either Matthew’s or Mark’s account. As a doctor, Luke provided insight enhanced by the skills of his profession. Two small phrases at the end of Luke’s gospel explain his depth of emotion “with great joy” and “praising God.” If I have a favorite edition of the gospel story, Luke’s is close, but then there’s John…
Passage 4: John 17-20
John calls himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. His writing is more extensive from the garden of Gethsemane to the ascension of Jesus to heaven than any other gospel writer. I find it interesting that he provides the conversations between the people. Words were important to John; his outline of Jesus’ prayer before entering the garden of Gethsemane is beautiful. He is the only writer of the four Gospels who was actually present in the garden to hear the prayer spoken by Jesus. John often notes the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in his gospel writing and he concludes chapter 20 with a wonderfully fascinating statement:
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
That little phrase “which are not recorded in this book” is intriguing to me, because in chapter 21, he further gives more detail on what Jesus did before the ascension. More than any other disciple. And his final conclusion to his gospel account?
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
John’s love for his master is so evident in these words. As a writer, I have reflected on this statement and find myself pondering how many more books there are to be written to explain the love of Jesus, and yet it cannot be explained in totality.
I would encourage you to take the time to read one or even all of the above Gospel accounts of Jesus’ final hours and days on earth this week.