The highlights of the Easter story include Jesus' execution (or crucifixion on the cross), His burial and, most importantly, His rising from death (or resurrection).
The accounts of Jesus' trial and execution are described in detail in the historical records of Jesus (Gospels). Essentially, he was condemned by religious leaders objecting to Jesus' claim to be their "Messiah", and then sentenced to death by authorities of the Roman government. Jesus was brutally tortured to death by nailing his hands and feet to an upright post in the shape of a cross.
The account of Jesus' rising from death was also recorded in the historical records of Jesus (Gospels): Three days after His death, a few women first found His tomb empty. Then Jesus appeared in front of these women and His disciples, talking and eating with them. Out of doubts still, one disciple did not believe Jesus was alive again until he actually touched Jesus' fatal wounds. In the following forty days, hundreds of people witnessed this Jesus who had returned from death until He ascended to Heaven.
Before His death, Jesus had promised eternal life to those who followed Him. If the story ended at His death, Jesus would have been no more than a religious figure with a finite life span. But the fact the Jesus rose from death demonstrated He has the power over death, and only through Him can people have hope for eternal life. Jesus said, "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).
Easter Story: Timeline
Notable aspects of Jesus Final Week (see timeline)
Notable aspects of Jesus Final Hours (see timeline)
Easter Story: Original Words
Read the Easter story from Jesus' follower, Matthew.
Images of the first Easter Story week
Jesus' Crucifixion - A Violent Portrayal (from the Passion of the Christ) of the Easter Story
Jesus' Crucifixion - A Medical Perspective on the Easter Story
Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? by Lee Strobel (click on link)
The Resurrection Conspiracy (Protecting a Lie?)
Hear the Easter story told by Max Rondoni, from the Story of the Messiah:
The Passion: Was There No Other Way? (a 20 minute message from John Ortberg, referencing the movie, "Passion of the Christ")
The Victor (song celebrating Jesus' victory over death - by Keith Green - 4min 26 sec)
Easter Song (Song starts 1:45 after introduction by Keith Green)
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