The Bible’s Easter


Series: Holidays and Special Events / Communion

Title: The Bible's Easter #Easter and #communion


  • 2018-03-31: White Rock Lake

  1. Introduction
    1. The Easter weekend is one of the Western world’s major holidays.
    2. Decorations: Bunnies and eggs
    3. A dwindling number of people attend church to remember Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
  2. Why is Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection significant?
    1. Romans 5:6-10 (p. 1088): We live in a world destroyed by sin. Yet, God had a plan to save us.
      1. Jesus’ death demonstrates:
        1. His love for us.
        2. Justification and reconciliation
          1. Justification: Being declared righteous
          2. Reconciliation: Reparing the broken relationship between us and God
        3. Salvation from God’s wrath–God’s eventual purging of sin.
      2. The cross isn’t for those who deserve it–rather, Jesus died for us while we were still sinners.
    2. Ephesians 1:7 (p. 1124): Jesus’ death enables our sins to be forgiven.
    3. Jesus’ death alone isn’t sufficient for salvation.
      1. 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (p. 1109): Jesus’ resurrection enables the resurrection of believers. Without the Resurrection, there is no hope of eternal life.
  3. Easter: How the world remembers
    1. Early Christians began celebrating Easter in conjunction with the time of Passover, when Jesus was crucified.
    2. Over time, this celebration, which isn’t mentioned in the Bible, gained pagan trappings, such as the Easter bunny.
    3. Easter became one of the most important feast days of the Christian calendar.
    4. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a day to remember Jesus’ resurrection, and there’s nothing wrong with observing Easter and the rest of Holy Week, it isn’t commanded in the Bible.
    5. Instead, the Bible gives us two different rituals to remember Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
  4. How the Bible remembers
    1. Baptism
      1. Romans 6:1-4 (p. 1089): Baptism is a powerful symbol of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
      2. At baptism, we publicly confess that we’ve died to our sins
      3. As we are lowered into the watery grave of baptism, our old unsaved self is buried and done away with.
      4. When we come up out of the water, we have been, like Jesus, raised up with a new life.
      5. Galatians 2:20 (p. 1121): By partaking in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus “works in [us] both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13, p. 1130).
    2. Communion
      1. This is the ceremony we will practice today. It is the other way the Bible instructs us to remember Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
        1. Open communion: Church membership not required. All are welcome to participate if they do so with sincerity before God.
      2. Three parts to communion
        1. Foot washing 1.John 13 (p. 1041): Jesus and the disciples in the upper room / custom to wash feet
          1. Vv 3-6: Jesus gets up and dresses like a servant, then begins to do a servant’s work.
          2. Vv. 6-8a: Peter objects to Jesus making Himself a servant
          3. Vv. 8b-9: Peter consents–he wants to make sure that he doesn’t lose out, so he suggests a more thorough washing
          4. V. 10: Foot washing is a miniature re-baptism. When we participate in foot washing, we are renewing our commitment to God.
          5. Vv. 12-16: Jesus gave us an example of humble service and commanded us to repeat His example.
          6. Two meanings of footwashing:
            1. Miniature rebaptism, showing our re-commitment to Christ
            2. Humble service to others, demonstrating what should be our attitude toward others.
        2. Bread
          1. Matthew 26:26 (p. 963): The communion bread symbolizes Jesus’ body, which He gave as a sacrifice for our sins.
          2. John 6:35 (p. 1032): Jesus is the bread of life, the solution to the human condition, the necessity of our daily existence.
          3. When we eat the bread of communion, we affirm our dependence on Christ.
        3. The cup
          1. Matthew 26:27-29 (p. 963): The cup represents Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.
          2. It was non-alcoholic grape juice, not alcoholic wine, because fermentation is used in the Bible as a symbol of sin, while Jesus was sinless.
          3. Marriage symbolism
          4. When we drink the cup, we accept Jesus’ offer of salvation and commit to proclaiming Jesus to all who will listen.
  5. Appeal:
    1. Baptism
    2. If there’s anything between you and someone else, make it right, if possible, before participating in communion.
    3. As you participate, consider the meaning of these symbols and participate with sincerity.