THE TRUE MEANING OF
EASTER
ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

EVENTS DURING THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS OF THE MINISTRY AND LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST

PART 1 of 4 -- Events Prior to the Last Supper
| Part 2 - Last Supper and Arrest | | Part 3 - Trial and Condemnation | | Part 4 - Crucifixion and Resurrection |

THE GOOD SHEPHERD
From the New Testament of the Bible
John 10:1-18

A Teaching by Jesus Christ

"'Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.'

Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which he spoke to them.

Then Jesus said to them again, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd, Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.'"


THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Author unknown

(CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION)

"'And Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.'"
Luke 18:19



THE RAISING OF LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD
From the New Testament of the Bible
John 11:1- 44

A Demonstration of Power and Authority



THE RAISING OF LAZARUS
Sebastiano del Piombo
1517-1519

(CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION)





THE RAISING OF LAZARUS
Duccio Di Buoninsegna
1319

(CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION)





THE RAISING OF LAZARUS
Benozzo Gozzoli
1497

(CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION)


"And Jesus said to them, "'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.'"
John 6:35 - 40

"Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, 'Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.'

When Jesus heard that, He said, 'This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.' Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this he said to the disciples, 'Let us go to Judea again.'

The disciples said to Him, 'Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?' Jesus answered, 'Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.'

These things He said, and after that He said to them, 'Out friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.' Then the disciples said, 'Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.' However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, 'Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.'

Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, 'let us also go, that we may die with Him.'

So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus. 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.' Jesus said to here, 'Your brother will rise again.' Martha said to Him, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.' Jesus said to here, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?' She said to Him, 'Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.'

And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, 'The Teacher has come and is calling for you.' As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, 'She is going to the tomb to weep there.'

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with here weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept, Then the Jews said, 'See how He loved him.' And some of them said, 'Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?' Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

Jesus said, 'Take away the stone.' Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, 'Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.' Jesus said to her, 'Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?' Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying, and Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, 'Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.'

Now when He these things, he cried with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth!' And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them. 'Loose him, and let him go.'"


THE PHARISEES PLOT TO KILL JESUS CHRIST
From the New Testament of the Bible
John 11:45 - 53, John 12:1, 9 - 11

The Immoral Desire for Power and Prestige

"Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. Then the chief priest and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, 'What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.'

And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, 'You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.'

Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death."

"Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.

Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.

But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus."



THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY
From the New Testament of the Bible
Matthew 21:1 - 11
A King Is Presented And Rejected

"When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, 'Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ""The Lord has need of them,"" and immediately he will send them.'

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
'Say to the daughter of Zion,
Behold your King is coming to you,
Gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'


The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road.

The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,
'Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!'

When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, 'Who is this?'

And the crowds were saying, 'This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.'"


ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM
Giotto di Bondone
1304-1306

(CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION)

"'But why do you call Me ""Lord, Lord."" and not do the things which I say?'"
Luke 6:46



JESUS CONDEMNS THE PHARISEES
From the New Testament of the Bible
Matthew 23:13 - 36

Lying, Immorality and Hypocrisy of Leadership

"'But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ""Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it."" Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ""Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it."" Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ""If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.""

Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers, some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you all these things will come upon this generation.'"



JESUS LAMENTS OVER JERUSALEM
From the New Testament of the Bible
John 10:1-18, Matthew 24:1-2

Because They Would Not Believe In Him



O, JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM
Author unknown

(CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION)

"'Gather My godly ones to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.'"
Psalm 50:5

"'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ""Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!""'"

"Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'"



THE PHARISEES' FINAL PLOT TO KILL JESUS CHRIST
From the New Testament of the Bible
Matthew 26:1 - 5, 14 - 16

Deceit, Lying and Murder by the Leaders

"Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, 'You know that after two days is the Passover and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.'

Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery, and kill Him. But they said, 'Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.'"

"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 'What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?' And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him."


JUDAS RECEIVING PAYMENT
Giotto di Bondone
1304 -1306

(CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION)

"'Then I said to them, ""If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain."" So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, ""Throw it to the potter"" - that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.'"
Zechariah 11:12-13


End Of Part 1 - Please Go On To Part 2 By Making Selection Below

All Biblical Quoations From:
The Holy Bible, New King James Version
Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE MAIN MENU CLICK HERE
TO GO TO
PART 2
OF THE EASTER STORY

The Last Supper to the Arrest in the Garden
CLICK HERE
TO GO TO
PART 3
OF THE EASTER STORY

The Trial and Condemnation
CLICK HERE
TO GO TO
PART 4
OF THE EASTER STORY

Crucifixion and Resurrection



For more information on the teaching of Jesus, you may read the following:

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS
by John F. MacArthur, Jr.
Zondervan Publishing House
Grand Rapids, Michigan
1988, 1994

You can also order on-line at:
http://www.gbibooks.com


FLOWER GRAPHIC CREDIT