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What is Resurrection Sunday? 10 Facts You Should Know for Easter

What is Resurrection Sunday? 10 Facts You Should Know for Easter

Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter Sunday, is a Christian holiday celebrating Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, as described in the New Testament. According to Christian beliefs, Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and buried in a tomb. On the third day, which is Easter Sunday, He rose from the dead, signifying victory over sin and death.

Resurrection Sunday is considered the most significant and joyous event in the Christian liturgical calendar. Christians around the world gather for special worship services, attend church services, and participate in various traditions to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus. It is a time of reflection, gratitude, and celebration of the central tenet of the Christian faith. Additionally, many cultures and communities mark the day with various cultural and secular traditions, such as Easter egg hunts and the giving of Easter baskets.

Here are ten Resurrection Sunday facts you should know in preparation for Easter this year.

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1. Resurrection Sunday Was Prophesied

1. Resurrection Sunday Was Prophesied

Not only was the resurrection prophesied about in the Old Testament, but Jesus told his followers what would happen throughout his earthly ministry. Even so, after the crucifixion, no one believed he would return. It was later that the disciples realized that Jesus had prepared them all along for what would happen. 

Psalm 16:10 says “you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.” 

Hosea 6:2 says “after two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.”

And Jesus himself prophesied his resurrection. He took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We’re going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” (Matthew 20:17-19)

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2. Sin Is Forgiven

2. Sin Is Forgiven

Jesus paid the penalty for the sin of the world and was raised from the dead so we can now be forgiven of every sin. No mere man could have done this, but Jesus was the Son of God and he is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father or goes to heaven without him (John 14:6). If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). 

If Jesus Has Forgiven My Sin Do I Still Need to Repent?

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3. The Resurrection Should Be Celebrated All Year Long

3. The Resurrection Should Be Celebrated All Year Long

It shouldn’t only be preached one time per year as if we only need to pay homage to it. It should be preached every Sunday from the pulpit and every day as we look into our bathroom mirrors.  

Martin Luther said, “The highest of all God’s commands is this, that we ever hold up before our eyes the image of his dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. He must daily be to our hearts the perfect mirror, in which we behold how much God loves us and how well, in his infinite goodness, as a faithful God, he has grandly cared for us in that he gave his dear Son for us. Do not let this mirror and throne of grace be torn away from before your eyes.” More recently than that, author Jerry Bridges made it even more clear, “Preach the gospel to yourself every day.” 

We need his resurrection power in our lives every day. Resurrection power is how we walk away from sins that we desperately want to walk into. That power is also how we overcome the inevitable trials and problems of life. It is where our hope lies.

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4. Churches as We Know Them Wouldn’t Exist without It

4. Churches as We Know Them Wouldn’t Exist without It

After the crucifixion, the disciples of Christ ran away and went back to their normal lives before they met Jesus. If something hadn’t happened after that point, they would never have gone forward to preach. Churches would never have been started. 

There would only be dry buildings with only the law’s message within them. The law is good. It shows us where we miss the mark. But it has no power to help us keep it. There would be no fulfillment of that law—only a high bar that no one can reach.

The resurrection gave us hope for a new life. A life where the Holy Spirit enables us to follow God’s laws and be forgiven when we can’t do it. God the Father let us know that we can’t keep the law, so he made a way for us to take on his righteousness. Hallelujah! 

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5. Christ Is within Every Believer

5. Christ Is within Every Believer

The resurrection and Christ’s ascension into heaven gave us the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is our assurance that Christ is within us. His exceedingly great power toward us who believe works within us to help us get through this life’s problems. 

"But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness." - Romans 8:10

The Great Commission also came forth to go and make disciples throughout the whole earth and with that commission came the precious promise that Jesus’s Spirit would indeed be with us as we go. He empowers us to live fully and wholly and to share His love with many others as we go.

"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:16-20

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6. Women Were the First Witnesses of the Resurrection

6. Women Were the First Witnesses of the Resurrection

Mary Magdalene and her friends were the first to see the risen Lord. This was significant because at that time women couldn’t witness to things in a court of law. They weren’t thought of as reliable. If someone was making this story up, they wouldn’t have begun the story with a woman witness. They would have wanted their story to sound as reliable as possible. But Jesus wasn’t concerned with reliability. He knew what was true. He simply wanted to show himself to his faithful followers, no matter what gender they were.

"At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?' Thinking he was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.' Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!' (which means 'Teacher')." - John 20:14-16

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7. There Were Many Witnesses to the Resurrection

7. There Were Many Witnesses to the Resurrection

Jesus appeared to many after his resurrection. He appeared to Mary Magdalene and her friends at the tomb. He must have appeared to the Roman guards that were stationed at the tomb as well. He appeared to Peter, John, and the other disciples.

The two men on the road to Emmaus who spoke to Jesus are recorded in Luke 24:34-35

"There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread."

He even allowed Thomas to touch his nail-scarred hands. He appeared to over five hundred people that had followed his earthly ministry. And he showed himself to an unbelieving and belligerent Saul and turned him into the Apostle Paul.

"After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep." - 1 Cor. 15:6

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8. The Resurrection Is Key to the Christian Faith

8. The Resurrection Is Key to the Christian Faith

Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day. Then he appeared to many because he knew that sometimes humans must see to believe. Without the resurrection, there is no Christian faith. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:

"Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel," - 2 Tim 2:8

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 1:1-4

  • If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God (1 Corinthians 15:14-15).
  • If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).
  • If it’s only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19).

If the resurrection is untrue, there is no hope and life is meaningless. But a monumental number of witnesses spanning over two thousand years say it is true!

The Nicene Creed states:

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

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9. Seeing Is Believing and Yet There Is Something Greater

9. Seeing Is Believing and Yet There Is Something Greater

Jesus gave definitive proof of the resurrection by showing himself to many people afterward. He talked to people and let people touch him. He reminded them that this had all been prophesied. And people believed after they saw. 

People fell to their knees and called him their Lord and God. Yes, Jesus let them see the proof of his resurrection. But he also said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” We that live today have a special blessing over the original disciples. We haven’t seen with our eyes, but our heart knows the presence and love of Christ.

"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” - Romans 10:9-15 

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10. There’s a Future Beyond This Life

10. There’s a Future Beyond This Life

Because of the resurrection, death lost its power and its sting and Jesus lives to bring the glory of God to all who believe. He gives you hope and a future after death. This earthly life that we hold so dear is woefully short. Even one hundred years is nothing in the scheme of all history. But now we can look forward to life without end! 

We are living beyond the resurrection. We have seen how the world has changed since Jesus lived, died, and was raised. We have seen countless martyrs die for the cause of Christ, not just in the first century A.D. but also in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries A.D. More people have died in the last hundred years for Christ than in the 1,900 years before. People don’t die for a lie, a hoax, or any other kind of scheme. People die for only what they believe wholeheartedly.

"Then I saw 'a new heaven and a new earth,' for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.' He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.' He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.' Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children." -Revelation 21:1-7

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headshot of author Jenni HeerenJennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on Amazon. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at her website and/or on Facebook.