Late in the day, Jesus went to a garden to pray. While He was there, Judas, one of His 12 disciples, arrived with a large crowd. Men in the crowd arrested Jesus and led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest. At Caiaphas’ house, the men mocked and beat Jesus. The religious leaders there looked for a false reason to put Jesus to death.
The next morning the religious leaders tied Jesus up and handed Him over to Pilate, the governor. Pilate knew it was because of jealousy that they had handed Jesus over. Pilate asked, “What has Jesus done wrong?” But the crowd shouted, “Crucify Him!” Finally, Pilate agreed to let the people crucify Jesus.
That afternoon darkness came over the whole land. Jesus called out to God, then Jesus died on the cross. Suddenly the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook. When those keeping watches over Jesus saw the things that had happened, they understood, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Joseph of Arimathea, a follower of Jesus, asked permission to bury Jesus’ body. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in fine linen, placed it in his new tomb, and rolled a large stone against the entrance. Three days later, a group of women went to visit Jesus’ tomb. When the women arrived, the stone was rolled away from the entrance. An angel was sitting on the stone. The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus. He is not here. He is risen, just as He said.”
The women ran to tell the disciples the good news! On their way, Jesus met them. The women clasped Jesus’ feet and worshiped Him. Jesus was alive!
Good Friday and Easter Sunday are two very important days in the life of a follower of God. What do you know about each of these days?
Good Friday was one of the worst days in history. On this day, many years ago, Jesus was crucified on a cross. He had done nothing wrong. Just a week before Jesus had entered Jerusalem with people shouting, “Hosanna!” as He passed by. What a difference a week can make!
On the cross, Jesus took the punishment for the sins of all people. Even though this was God’s plan for Jesus, He still had a choice to make. He chose to be the source of salvation for the world. It might not seem like a “good” Friday. In fact, it was one of the worst Fridays in history.
After Jesus died, He was placed in a tomb. A large stone was rolled in front of the entrance. To Jesus’ followers, it seemed like all was lost. But, little did they know, just a few days later, the worst day in history would give way to the greatest day in history.
On Sunday morning, several women went to the tomb. What they found would change their lives forever. The stone was rolled away, and Jesus was not there. An angel told them Jesus was not there, that He was risen, just like He had promised them. As the women ran to tell the disciples, they encountered Jesus Himself. They worshiped Jesus because He was alive!
Jesus is alive and seated at the right hand of God in heaven. His worst day led to the greatest gift any of us could ask or imagine—forgiveness of sins, a personal relationship with Him, and the hope of eternity with Him.
1. What happened when Jesus died on the cross?
2. What did Joseph of Arimathea do after Jesus died?
3. When the women went to the tomb on Sunday, what did the angel tell them?
Pray: God, thank You for sending Jesus, Your only Son, to save the world from sin and darkness. Thank You, Jesus, for dying in our place, taking the punishment we deserved for the sins we committed. We believe that You died, were buried, and three days later, You rose again! Amen.