I've shared here at the blog in the past some resources on celebrating a Christ-focused Easter on EP 22: Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter and Resources to Help Your Family Celebrate a Christ-Focused Easter.
I wanted to share some quotes and thoughts from others that have impacted me as I ponder the truth of the Resurrection. I pray they are an encouragement to you as they have been to me. Some of them may be a blessing to start a conversation about the Gospel around your Easter dinner table.
Donald Whitney also has a helpful resource called, Ten Questions to Ask at an Easter Gathering.
Christian Communicators Worldwide has some bulletin inserts on the Resurrection that you may enjoy reading at your Easter dinner table together to promote some discussion.“Lord, forgive us for the times we have read about Gethsemane with dry eyes.” ~ Frederick S. Leahy
A favorite read for me in this season is To Seek and To Save: Daily Reflections on the Road to the Cross by Sinclair Ferguson
Below are some quotes and thoughts to help us to ponder deeply the Resurrection:
Imagine, for a moment, the reaction of Hell to the death of Christ. Jesus was bound with the bands of death. What celebration and joy! God was defeated! Vengeance was the Devil’s. But they reckoned without the wisdom of God. For Christ could not be held down by the bands of death. In fact, through death, He was paralyzing the one who had the power of death, and He was setting His people free (Heb. 2:14-15). What seemed to be defeat was actually victory. The Resurrection morning was Hell’s gloomiest day. Satan saw the wisdom of God and tasted defeat
~ Sinclair Ferguson, A Heart for God
The basic truth of the resurrection undergirds a number of other truths.
1. It gives evidence that the Word of God is totally true and reliable. Jesus precisely when and in the way He had predicted (see Mt. 12:40; 16:21; 17:9, 23).
2. The resurrection means that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, as He claimed to be, and that He has power over life and death.
3. The resurrection proves that salvation is complete, that on the cross Christ conquered sin, death, and hell and rose victorious.
4. The resurrection proves that the church has been established. Jesus had declared, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it” (Mt. 16:8)… His resurrection proved that death itself could not prevent Christ from establishing His church.
5. The resurrection proves that judgment is coming. Jesus declared that the heavenly Father “has given all judgment to the Son” (Jn. 5:22), and since the Son is now risen and alive, His judgment is certain.
6. The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves that heaven is waiting. Jesus promised, “In My house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn. 14:2). Because Christ is alive by the resurrection, believers have the assurance that He is now preparing a heavenly dwelling for them.
John MacArthur, Matthew 24-28 Commentary
So, the evidence concerning the resurrection is the empty tomb, and there is no other explanation for the empty tomb than a resurrection. The Jews didn’t steal His body. The Romans didn’t steal His body. The Apostles didn’t steal His body. The women didn’t steal His body. His enemies had no reason to steal His body and fabricate a resurrection. His friends didn’t even believe in a resurrection, and nor would they steal His body, fabricate a false resurrection and then go out and die as martyrs for a phony. The angels give the only possible explanation: He’s not here because He’s risen.
~ John MacArthur, taken from the sermon: An Empty Tomb with an Angelic Explanation
The resurrection was undoubtedly the central proclamation of the early church from the very beginning. The earliest Christians didn’t just endorse Jesus’ teachings; they were convinced they had seen him alive after his crucifixion. That’s what changed their lives and started the church. Certainly, since this was their centermost conviction, they would have made absolutely sure that it was true.
Lee Strobel, The Case for the Resurrection
If Jesus were not raised from the dead, the disciples were at best fools, and at worst, liars. What we know about the Christian life comes from the pen of men moved and guided by God to write the words we call the New Testament. The original apostles died martyrs’ deaths on the basis of their belief that the resurrection took place just as predicted, and that they saw Him alive again. If it were not true, then they were either duped, or else they fabricated the resurrection as a means to shore up the movement. But would they pay the ultimate price for a lie they had manufactured in order to have a job? Not so. Paul speaks of the absurdity of this in the following way: “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ “(1 Cor. 15:14-15).
~ Jim Eliff
If the death of Christ on the cross is the true meaning of the Incarnation, then there is no gospel without the cross. Christmas by itself is no gospel. The life of Christ is no gospel. Even the resurrection, important as it is in the total scheme of things, is no gospel by itself. For the good news is not just that God became man, nor that God has spoken to reveal a proper way of life for us, or even that death, the great enemy, is conquered. Rather, the good news is that sin has been dealt with (of which the resurrection is a proof); that Jesus has suffered its penalty for us as our representative, so that we might never have to suffer it; and that therefore all who believe in Him can look forward to heaven.
~ James Montgomery Boice
“Lord, forgive us for the times we have read about Gethsemane with dry eyes.”
~ Frederick S. Leahy, The Cross He Bore
“The stone was rolled away from the tomb, not to let Jesus out, but to let the world in.”
~ Steve Lawson