The Essence of Easter
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The Essence of Easter

Mark 15:33-16:8  (ID: 1185)

In a culture where Christian and pagan traditions have become interwoven, it can be difficult to determine the meaning behind the celebration of Easter. With the goal of achieving biblical clarity in the midst of secular confusion, Alistair Begg challenges us to consider what Easter means for the Christian. Understanding the essence of Easter begins by recognizing the effects of sin and the foundational truth of the empty tomb.

Related resources: "Easter Letter from Alistair Begg and Related Content"


The Death of Jesus

33And when the sixth hour6 had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.7 34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he8 breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son9 of God!”

40There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

Jesus Is Buried

42And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died.10 And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46And Joseph11 bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

The Resurrection

1When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Copyright © 2020, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.