It was Palm Sunday and Sue's five-year-old son had to stay home from church, with a neighbor, because he was sick. When the family returned home carrying palm branches, he asked what they were for. His mother explained, "People held them over Jesus' head as He walked by." "Wouldn't you know it," the boy said. "The one Sunday I don't go, Jesus shows up!"permalink source: Anonymous
“I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”permalink source: Oxford professor Thomas Arnold, author of the three-volume "History of Rome"
Charles Colson, convicted for his involvement in the Watergate scandal as an assistant to President Richard Nixon, writes: When I am challenged on the resurrection, my answer is always that the disciples and 500 others gave eyewitness accounts of seeing Jesus risen from the tomb. But then I'm asked, "How do you know they were telling the truth? Maybe they were perpetrating a hoax." My answer to that comes from an unlikely source: Watergate. Watergate involved a conspiracy perpetuated by the closest aides to the president of the United States—the most powerful men in America, who were intensely loyal to their president. But one of them, John Dean, turned state's evidence, that is, testified against Nixon, as he put it, "to save his own skin"—and he did so only two weeks after informing the president about what was really going on—two weeks! The cover-up, the lie, could only be held together for two weeks, and then everybody else jumped ship in order to save themselves. Now, the fact is that all those around the president were facing was embarrassment, maybe prison. Nobody's life was at stake. But what about the disciples? Twelve powerless men, peasants really, were facing not just embarrassment or political disgrace, but beatings, stonings, execution. Every single one of the disciples insisted, to their dying breaths, that they had physically seen Jesus bodily raised from the dead. Don't you think that one of those apostles would have cracked before being beheaded or stoned? That one of them would have made a deal with the authorities? None did. Men will give their lives for something they believe to be true; they will never give their lives for something they know to be false. The Watergate cover-up reveals the true nature of humanity. Even political zealots at the pinnacle of power will, in the crunch, save their own necks, even at the expense of the ones they profess to serve so loyally. But the apostles could not deny Jesus, because they had seen him face to face, and they knew he had risen from the dead. No, you can take it from an expert in cover-ups—I've lived through Watergate—that nothing less than a resurrected Christ could have caused those men to maintain to their dying whispers that Jesus is alive and is Lord. Two thousand years later, nothing less than the power of the risen Christ could inspire Christians around the world to remain faithful—despite prison, torture, and death. Jesus is Lord: That's the thrilling message of Easter. It's a historic fact, one convincingly established by the evidence—and one you can bet your life upon. Citation: Charles Colson, BreakPoint Online Commentaries (4-29-02); submitted by Cynthia Davenport-Herbst, Paris, Texaspermalink source: Anonymous
The other two days have earned names on the church calendar: Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Yet in a real sense we live on Saturday, the day with no name. What the disciples experienced in small scale—three days in grief over one man who had died on a cross—we now live through on cosmic scale. Human history grinds on, between the time of promise and fulfillment. Can we trust that God can make something holy and beautiful and good out of a world that includes Bosnia and Rwanda and inner-city ghettos and jammed prisons in the richest nation on earth? It's Saturday on planet earth. Will Sunday ever come? That dark, Golgothan Friday can only be called Good because of what happened on Easter Sunday, a day which gives a tantalizing clue to the riddle of the universe. Easter opened up a crack in a universe winding down toward entropy and decay, sealing the promise that someday God will enlarge the miracle of Easter to cosmic scale. It is a good thing to remember that in the cosmic drama, we live out our days on Saturday, the in-between day with no name. I know a woman whose grandmother lies buried under 150 year old live oak trees in the cemetery of an Episcopal church in rural Louisiana. In accordance with the grandmother's instructions, only one word is carved on the tombstone: "Waiting." Though Jesus cast a vision for a better kingdom now and in the future, as long as it is Saturday, the fulfillment of that vision still awaits until Sunday dawns.permalink source: Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew (Zondervan, 1995)
An Arab chief tells a story of a spy who was captured and then sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army. This general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door. As the moment for execution drew near, the spy was brought to the Persian general, who asked the question, "What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?" The spy hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision. He chose the firing squad. Moments later shots rang out confirming his execution. The general turned to his aide and said, "They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we gave him a choice." The aide said, "What lies beyond the big door?" "Freedom," replied the general. "I've known only a few brave enough to take it."permalink source: Don McCullough, "Reasons to Fear Easter," Preaching Today, Tape No. 116.
“Those of us who aren't religious find ourselves confused at Easter. We feel a need to mark time by annual festivals but we don't want to dance naked up a hill with an amorous goat chanting pagan tosh.”permalink source: Jasper Gerard, The Times, London, Easter Sunday 2004
Easter bunnies in pain. <img src="http://glenandpaula.com/quotes/uploads/1112207827easter_bunnies11 2 _1.JPG" width="362" height="539" />permalink source: unknown
Paul the Apostle goes into a synagogue in the diaspora. He's asked to speak to the congregation. He steps up onto the bimah and says: "I have some good news, and I have some bad news. Which would you like to hear first?" The head rabbi replies, "Good news and bad news? Tell us the bad news first. The good news will console us." Paul says, "Okay, here's the bad news. The messiah has come, but he's been killed." "What!" exclaims the rabbi. "That's terrible news! What could possibly be good news?" Replies Paul, "The good news is -- that's good news!"permalink source: Anonymous