The Easter Story
Below is an account of the events which are described in the Bible from the Sunday before Jesus’ crucifixion until his ascension to heaven 40 days after his resurrection.
Palm Sunday is the day Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on a donkey.
Jesus had become well known for performing miracles and teaching the people about God. When he arrived in Jerusalem the people came to meet him, shouting ‘Hosanna’, meaning ‘Save’.
They spread branches from palm trees on the road and that’s why we call it Palm Sunday.
The Last Supper
The Last Supper is the last time Jesus ate with his disciples before he was arrested.
Jesus asked his disciples to arrange this meal. It was called the Passover meal. Jesus taught his disciples many important things that evening.
Jesus broke the bread and drank from the cup, passing it to his disciples. He said “Do this in rememberance of me”. The bread and the wine represent Jesus’ body and blood, and when Christians take ‘communion’ they remember that Jesus died on the cross so that we may have forgiveness.
Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane after the last supper. He took some of his disciples with him and told them to keep watch because he knew he was going to be arrested. His disciple, Judas, had gone to the Jewish leaders to betray him.
Judas led a crowd armed with swords and clubs and included soldiers sent from the Jewish leaders.
Judas had arranged a signal for them; he would kiss the one they were to arrest. This was a traditional greeting.
After Jesus was arrested he was taken to the high priest and the Jewish judges. They couldn’t find anything to charge him with and finally found him guilty of blasphemy because he said he was the Christ, God’s Son. Then the guards took him and beat him.
Then Jesus was sent to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, to be tried and sentenced. Pilate couldn’t find any reason to execute Jesus, as the Jewish leaders wanted, but he wanted to please the crowd so he handed Jesus over to be crucified.
Jesus was whipped and beaten. A crown of thorns was placed on his head and they mocked him, calling out “Hail, king of the Jews!”
He was made to carry a heavy wooden cross and led to the hill called Golgotha.
Simon of Cyrene
Jesus had been whipped and beaten and was very weak, so he was struggling to carry the heavy wooden cross. A passer-by named Simon, from Cyrene, was forced to carry the cross for him.
Golgotha, otherwise known as Calvary, means ‘the place of the skull’. This is where Jesus was led to be crucified.
Nailed to the Cross
Jesus was crucified by nailing his hands and feet to the cross. A note was placed on the top of the cross which said, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews’.
Two other men, both criminals, were crucified beside him; one on his right and one on his left. One of them mocked Jesus, but the other knew he deserved to be punished and asked Jesus to remember him in his kingdom.
“Today you will be with me in paradise.” replied Jesus.
Jesus suffered on the cross for about six hours. During the last three hours there was darkness over the land while his suffering was at its greatest.
Finally, he cried out, “It is finished”. Then, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Then he died.
A rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body.
Joseph wrapped the body in a linen cloth with spices and placed it in his own new tomb which was carved out of rock.
A large stone was rolled into place to seal the tomb and a guard was posted at the entrance.
On the third day, the Sunday morning, the women went to the tomb with spices. But they found that the stone was rolled away and the body of Jesus was gone!
An angel, with an appearance like lightening, said to the women, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said”.
The women ran and told the disciples what had happened, and later Jesus appeared to them and showed them his wounds so they would believe.
40 days after Jesus’ resurrection, he ascended to heaven. This was witnessed by the disciples and the details were recorded by Mark and Luke.
The Bible says that he is now the exalted Son of God, seated at the right hand of the Father.