The Resurrection of Jesus is one of the three greatest miracles of history — the other two being the Creation and the Incarnation.
The Resurrection is one of the most important facts that separates Christianity from all other world religions. The bodies of the founders of other religions — like Abraham, Mohammed, and Buddha — still rest in their graves, waiting the day of their resurrection. Only the tomb of Jesus is empty. He alone conquered death, and He alone lives today in a resurrected body.
Sixty-five years after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos in His glorified body (Revelation 1:13-16). John was overwhelmed. He fell at the feet of Jesus as though he was dead. Jesus laid His right hand on John and spoke some of the most comforting words to be found anywhere in the Scriptures (Revelation 1:17-18):
Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
Read that passage again. Savor it. It should calm your soul if you are a believer.
Jesus is saying, “Fear not, I am the beginning of history; I am the middle of history; I am the end of history; I am the meaning of history. I was dead, but now I am alive forever. I have conquered death, and because of that victory, I have been given the keys to death — the power to give life to those who have died with faith in Me.”
The words are reminiscent of what Jesus spoke to Martha before His death, as He stood with her before the tomb of her brother, Lazarus (John 11:25):
I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies…
Satan hates the Resurrection with a passion because it testifies to the fact that Jesus was who He said He was — namely, God in the flesh. Accordingly, Satan has done everything he can throughout history to undermine belief in the Resurrection, and he continues his nefarious assaults to this day.
The Date of the Resurrection
We cannot be certain of the exact year of the Resurrection, but we know from Scripture that it occurred on the Feast of First Fruits which was always held in Bible times on the first Sunday following Passover.
In the Fourth and Fifth Centuries the Church got caught up in a wave of anti-Semitism, and the Church decided to divorce Easter from the Jewish calendar. The church leaders set up a complicated formula for determining Easter day, and the result is that it does not always fall on the Sunday following Passover. This year it does. Passover falls on Tuesday, April 19th, and Easter will be celebrated on the following Sunday, April 24th.
The Name of the Day
I personally detest the term, Easter, because it is derived from the name of the pagan Teutonic goddess of Spring. I prefer the term, Resurrection Day, and I pray that each of you will have a blessed Resurrection Day this year on April 24th as you celebrate the victory of our Lord over death and His promise to give believers in Him the same victory.
Jesus lives! Hallelujah!