When most people think of Easter they think of stores with shelves stocked with toys, chocolate eggs, and stuffed animals. For many Easter is a time for family. As the Family of God, Easter represents a time of renewal of life and love. It is a celebration, and it marks the pinnacle of our faith. But not everyone realizes the true life-changing news that Easter brings. Perhaps you yourself are not aware of the significance of Easter and how it can shape your life; it could get hidden behind those toys, chocolate eggs, and stuffed animals. Please stay tuned as we take you on a short, animated journey of the Passion Story celebrated by thousands worldwide. Our hope is that through this video you may discover the true hope and amazing purpose that this time of year brings to us all. We also provided the text for anyone who prefers to read. So let’s start at the beginning…
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and everything that dwells in them. Everything was perfect. God made man and woman to take care of His creation and were placed in the middle of the Garden of Eden. The man was named Adam; the woman was named Eve. They were allowed to eat from every tree and bush in the garden except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Genesis 1 and 2
But the man and woman disobeyed God when a clever and deceitful serpent came to Eve and twisted what God had said. It convinced her that no harm would come from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Through the serpent’s deception, both Adam and Eve made a choice and ate from that one Tree, thus disobeying God and allowing sin and death to enter the world, tainting God’s beautiful creation.
The Old Testament
But God had a plan. God chose a people -His people- to arise in the midst of the brokenness. The Old Testament tells the history of His people and the need for a rescuer.
While the problem of sin carried on in the lives of all, sin had no place in God’s presence. But as everyone is guilty of doing wrong no one would be able to approach God.
But God desires more than this, He wants people to know Him, but more than that, He wants a relationship.
God’s ultimate plan was for His Son to free all people from sin, and to have a personal relationship with Him.
Jesus is Born
And so the Savior came to earth just as God’s prophets had predicted many years prior. It happened in a rather unconventional and unexpected way, on a silent night in a manger. But it was on that night that the hope of the world, the hope for reconciliation with God and freedom from sin, had arrived in the form of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
Matthew 1 and 2, Luke 1-20
Between Birth and Easter Week
Following the birth of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, the main action of the Bible moves forward a number of years. To when Jesus was baptized and started His ministry here on earth.
He gathered 12 disciples who became friends of Jesus. They traveled with Him while He shared with others who God was and performed many miracles. He cured the sick, raised the dead, calmed a storm while they were at sea, and many other normally impossible acts. He spoke in parables and held different sermons that crowds upon crowds attended. Through this ministry, He gathered a large following of people, but Jesus had a far greater purpose to yet fulfill.
Jesus Enters Jerusalem
On Passover Jesus and His followers entered Jerusalem. The multitudes came out to see Him with fervor and excitement. Not everyone was excited, nor did everyone who followed Him recognize Him as the Son of God. Most of the Pharisees and the Sadducees refused to believe Jesus was the Messiah and accused Him of being a blasphemer. They tried getting the crowd to turn on Him by asking questions meant to trap Him, but Jesus saw through their scheme.
Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19
The Last Supper
A short time later, Jesus gathered His 12 disciples for a meal where it was revealed this was the last time they would be together. This is when Jesus taught them about communion, the breaking of bread, and the sharing of wine which symbolizes His body and blood soon to be broken and shed for all. This confused the disciples as this was the first time they realized that Jesus was about to die.
Matthew 26:17-35, Mark 14:12-31, Luke 22:7-38, John 13:1 to John 17:26
Jesus is Arrested
Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 disciples, betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, leading the guards to Him, and sealing Jesus’ fate with a kiss. Although the disciples tried to defend Jesus, He told them to put their swords away for those who live by the sword die by the sword. He was then arrested to be put on trial. The disciples were lost and confused, but what they had failed to understand, Jesus’ arrest was part of God’s plan and His ultimate purpose was about to be fulfilled.
Matthew 26:36-56, Mark 14:32-52, Luke 22:39-53, John 18:1-18
Jesus was brought before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate to be tried. There was nothing fair about Jesus’ trial. There was no legal precedent for it. The priests, Pharisees, and Sadducees broke laws as they plotted to kill Jesus prior to His arrest. For calling Himself the Son of God, He was wrongfully sentenced to death by crucifixion (which is the nailing or binding of an individual to a cross).
Matthew 26:57 to Matthew 27:26, Mark 14:53 to Mark 15:15, Luke 22:54 to Luke 23:25, John 18:19 to John 19:16
Jesus Carries His Cross
After His trial, Jesus was beaten and lashed. A crown of thorns was thrust onto His head and He was made to carry His own cross. He struggled under the weight of the cross and the pain He endured. Jesus stumbled multiple times. Even Simon of Cyrene helped Him as He carried His cross all the way to Calvary, the site of His crucifixion.
Matthew 27:27-33, Mark 15:16-24, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17
Jesus is Crucified
Jesus’ hands and feet were nailed to the cross He carried, and the cross was stood upright. Beside Him hung two convicted criminals also sentenced to death. Nearing death, one of the criminals asked Jesus to forgive Him for the crimes he had committed, and Jesus did. Jesus was mocked by the soldiers and others who watched as He hung humiliated on the cross, life seeping from His body. Instead of condemning them, He asked God His Father to “Forgive them for they do not know what they do”. After hours of pain, torment, and suffering, Jesus took His last breath, and died, proclaiming “It is finished”.
Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:25-41, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:18-37
Jesus Being Placed in the Tomb
After Jesus’ death on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea made a request to Pilate to have Jesus’ body surrendered to him so it could be buried in accordance with Jewish law as opposed to being thrown into the Valley of Gethsemane like most victims of crucifixion. Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen clothes and placed into the tomb after Pilate approved Joseph’s request.
Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42
Jesus in the Tomb
Jesus’ body rested for the next three days in the tomb. The disciples and Jesus’ other followers were distraught with many separating and going their own ways filled with a sense of hopelessness and defeat. But, Jesus’ death wasn’t the end of the story as many of His disciples believed. Jesus’ death was necessary to pay the price of sin for all humankind. Everything that happened was all part of God’s plan, especially what happened next.
Matthew 27:62-66, 1 Peter 3:18-22
Jesus is Resurrected
The Bible tells us that on the third day Jesus rose from the dead, becoming Lord and Savior for all by conquering sin and death, and completing God’s plan for salvation. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are now able to have a right relationship with God through His Son. There now is hope for the future for all who receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. A promise to live with God forever when our life here on earth comes to an end. This is the ultimate victory. This is the ultimate act of love. This is Easter.
Matthew 28:1-20, Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-53, John 20:1-25