The Easter Bible Story: Verses and Meaning
The Easter Bible Story - While Christmas observes the birth of Jesus, Easter remembers the main Christian event: Christ's suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection. For Christians, Easter is the remembrance of Christ's voluntary death and resurrection to save humankind from sin and death.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3)
Discover the complete Bible story of Easter, including the Last Supper, Judas' Betrayal, the Crucifixion of Jesus, and Jesus' Resurrection. Read the summary of each and the full scripture text linked below:
The Last Supper
Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-25, Luke 22:7-23
The story of the Last Supper is an invitation from Jesus to partake of Him, first to His apostles and to all Christians. This is a summary of the Last Supper Bible story as told in the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke below. Read more in-depth Bible verses from the Scripture below and use the articles and videos to understand the meaning behind this teachable event in the Bible.
The last supper occurred on Passover's first day, or the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Jesus sent his disciples to the city to prepare a meal to celebrate Passover. Passover is the remembrance of Israel being freed from slavery to Egypt, specifically when the angel of death passed over the homes of the Israelites that had lambs' blood over the doors.
As the disciples reclined and ate dinner with Jesus, he explained that one of the twelve would soon betray him. One by one the disciplines denied that it would be them, including Judas who would be the betrayer. Jesus responded that the person who betrays him will have a terrible fate and that it was Judas.
Jesus prayed and thanked God for the meal. He then broke the bread, shared the wine with the disciples, and explained to them how the bread was a symbol of his body, broken for them, and the wine a symbol of his blood which would be poured out for their sins to be forgiven. This is where the church's tradition of communion comes from.
After the meal, Jesus became like a servant and washed the feet of the disciples. Peter did not feel right having Jesus wash his feet but Jesus said that He was doing it to be an example to them. Now the disciples would be able to wash each other's feet, meaning they could be servants to all.
Judas Betrays Jesus
John 18:1-13, Luke 22:1-6, Luke 22:47-54, Matthew 26:47-56, Mark 14:43-50
The Bible Story of Judas betraying Jesus is found in all four gospels. This powerful story is well-known in Christian theology as one of the most significant events of disloyalty. There are several explanations as to why Judas betrayed Jesus, including bribery and demonic possession, that vary among the gospel accounts.
The Gospels imply that Jesus anticipated and permitted Judas's betrayal. One interpretation is that Jesus allowed the betrayal because it would allow God's plan to be achieved and another that regardless of the betrayal, Jesus was eventually fated for crucifixion as part of God's plan.
During the meal of the Last Supper Jesus predicts that "one of you will betray me" referring to Judas. Judas leaves the supper and goes to the Roman authorities who are looking to arrest Jesus. He accepts a bribe of 30 silver and agrees to take them to Jesus. Judas knew that Jesus and the disciples would go to a garden near Jerusalem and led the soldiers there, stating "Whoever it is I kiss, he is the one; take him into custody, and lead him away under guard.” Leading the group into the garden, Judas sees Jesus with his disciples and approaches him. “Greetings, Rabbi!” Judas says, and he kisses Jesus very lightly. “Fellow, for what purpose are you present?” Jesus responds. (Matthew 26:49, 50) Answering his own question, Jesus says: “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
As the soldiers move toward Jesus, the apostles recognize what is happening. “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” they ask. (Luke 22:49) Before Jesus can respond, Peter uses one of the two apostles' swords and attacks Malchus, a high priest servant, cutting off his right ear.
Jesus caresses the ear of Malchus, healing the wound. He then teaches an important lesson, telling Peter: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword.” Jesus is willing to be captured, for he explains: “How would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must take place this way?” (Matthew 26:52) This then leads to the trial and Crucifixion of Christ.
Crucifixion of Jesus
Matthew 27:1-54, Mark 15:1-40, Luke 23:1-48, John 19:1-30
The crucifixion of Jesus is recorded in the New Testament books, known as the Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This Bible story is the central summary of the saving Gospel of Jesus. Jesus had prophesied of his death in Matthew "from that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." Jesus understood that his life would be required as a sacrifice for the sins of man.
At the height of his ministry and miracles, many Jews came to believe in Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God. Jewish leaders feared Jesus because of his growing followers. With the help of Judas Iscariot, Roman soldiers arrested Jesus and he was put on trial for claiming to be the king of the Jews. According to Roman law, the punishment for rebellion against the king was death by crucifixion.
The Roman governor Pontius Pilate was reluctant when it came to the punishment for Jesus. Pilate could find no wrong in Jesus, yet he wanted to give the people what they wanted, and that was the death of Jesus. Pilate washed his hands in front of the crowd to symbolize that he was not taking responsibility for the bloodshed of Jesus and then handed Jesus over to be beaten and lashed. Jesus had a crown of thorns thrust on his head and made to carry his cross along the pathway to the hill where he would be crucified. The location of Jesus' crucifixion is known as Calvary, which is translated from "a place of a skull".
Crowds had gathered to mourn and watch Jesus' death. Jesus was nailed to the cross between two criminals and his sides pierced by a sword. While Jesus was mocked, one of the criminals asked Jesus to remember him and Jesus responded: "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." Jesus then looked to heaven and asked God to "forgive them, for they do not know what they do." When taking his last breath, Jesus spoke: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit...it is finished."
Extraordinary events marked the death of Jesus. The sky was completely dark for three hours as Jesus hung on the cross. At the moment of his last breath, the earth shook, the temple curtain split from top to bottom, and the tombs of saints opened and their bodies raised from the dead.
The crucifixion of Jesus was a part of God's plan from the very beginning of the birth of Jesus. The sin of mankind would require a sacrifice. The sinless life of Jesus was lived and given so that man could receive salvation and eternal life in heaven.
Resurrection of Jesus
Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20
Jesus was arrested, tried, and found guilty of claiming to be a king. His body was hung on a cross between two thieves. After his death, Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen cloths and placed in a tomb with a large stone rolled across the opening. On the third day, an early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and another Mary came to the tomb and found it empty. Sitting on the rolled-away stone was an angel of the Lord who told them to not be afraid because Jesus had risen. As the women left to tell the disciples, Jesus Christ met them and showed them his nail-pierced hands.
Both the Old and the New Testaments speak of the truth of Jesus being raised from death - Jesus testified of his resurrection before he died on the cross and his disciples witnessed his body after the resurrection. Below are the Bible verses and Scriptures that both prophesize the resurrection and testify of its reality after Christ’s death.
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Read the full scripture text of the Easter Bible story below and find related articles, podcasts, and sermons!