Day 1: Jesus is Arrested and Tried
Mark 15:1-5 (ESV)
And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate.
And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “You have said so.”
And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.”
But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.
There’s a phrase that’s come to mind often during my parenting years. I’ve thought it while I’ve sat dozing against the crib, my numb arm holding a pacifier in my baby’s mouth through the slats. I’ve thought it on my hands and knees pulling bits of homemade slime out of the carpet. I’ve thought it at 3am on Christmas Day, with a stack of unwrapped gifts in front of me and only a few short hours before the house jolts awake with excitement. I’ve thought it while shivering in frigid winds at the bottom of a sledding hill and sweltering through an endless line for our turn on the bumper cars. It’s the only explanation I can think of for bearing such discomfort solely for the ease and joy of my children.
The things we do for love.
When Jesus stood before Pilate accused of crimes He did not commit, I imagine that those who knew who He was must have wondered why He did not do more. He didn’t defend himself, in fact, He barely spoke. Even Pilate himself asks in disbelief: “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”
Jesus wasn’t a criminal or an imposter. He wasn’t even an average innocent man. He is the Son of God, Maker of Miracles, the Light of the Entire World. Certainly if anyone had the words to get out of a situation as perilous as the one He found Himself in, it was Him. But Jesus still made no reply.
“What crime has he committed?” Pilate asks. As Jesus remains silent in His own defense, the angry crowd demands “Crucify him!” Because why would a person who has done nothing wrong not say so?
By not speaking in His defense, Jesus was speaking for us. By forfeiting His freedom, He was gifting us eternal freedom from our sins. To a person who doesn’t understand His love, it may seem like Jesus wasn’t doing enough. But the truth is that by not doing anything in those moments, He was doing everything.
The story of Easter remains one of the greatest love stories ever told, because everything that Jesus did, He did for love.
Day 8: Jesus is Resurrected!
Matthew 28:1-10 (ESV) Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the...
Easter is the celebration of all celebrations! Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death and is raised to life. The resurrection of Jesus is not some legend that has been passed down through the ages meant to give us an excuse for another holiday. In Easter we see the...
Day 7: Jesus’ Body is Taken Down From the Cross
Mark 15:42-47 (ESV) And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and...
Day 6: Jesus Dies
Mark 15:33-35 (ESV) And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of...
Day 5: Jesus’ Garments Are Divided
John 19:23-25 (ESV) When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not...
Day 4: Jesus and Simon Are Made to Carry the Cross
John 19:17 (ESV) and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. Matthew 27:32-34 (ESV) As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And...
Day 3: Jesus is Mocked and Tortured
Matthew 27:27-31 (ESV) Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his...
Day 2: Jesus is Condemned
Matthew 27:15-26 (ESV) Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for...
A Hallelujah Holiday
Keeping the Savior at the CenterWhen many of us think Easter, egg hunts and chocolate bunnies immediately come to mind. True, many of today’s Easter festivities focus more around the coming of spring than the resurrection of our Savior, but the heart of the holiday...