The Easter Story
The Last Supper
The Easter story really begins with the famed Last Supper. Jesus, the central figure in Christianity, had arranged a Passover Feast for himself and his disciples. As he dined with his 12 apostles, Jesus told the group that one of them would betray him. Obviously, they all cared for Jesus and asked, “Is it I?”
Since there are different books of the Bible that recount this story, it differs depending on which one you follow. Some say Judas was called out as the betrayer, others say that Jesus never gave him away. However, the variations agree that Jesus took bread, broke it into 12 pieces, and gave it to his disciples saying that it was his body given to them. He then shared the wine in the same manner and led the party went down to the Garden of Gethsemane. Here, Judas (who had apparently left the party), reappeared with a slew of armed men. To point out which one of the party was Jesus, Judas kissed the son of god and thus, he was thus arrested and his disciples fled.
As far as the actual trial is concerned, the accounts in the gospels differ greatly, but state that Jesus had a pretty bad time of it. He was beaten and then sent to the high priest. Since Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God, the priest was infuriated, calling such a statement blasphemy. Jesus was then taken to Pontius Pilate, the fifth prefect of the Roman Empire, whose opinion of Jesus differed from the priest’s. Pilate found Jesus completely innocent of the charges set against him, but the crowd protested that he be crucified, and Pilate gave in.
The procession followed the road to Calvary, where Jesus was crucified between two thieves, one who rebuked him and one who defied him. Again, the different accounts of the crucifixion aren’t exactly the same. Some tell of the sky going dark, the ground shaking, and of Jesus calling out to god. But, nevertheless, he died on the cross.
Jesus is Buried and Rises
Following Jesus’ death on Friday, Joseph of Arimathea was granted permission to remove the body from the cross. The body was then cleaned, wrapped in cloth, and placed inside of a tomb (some narrations also state that his body was begged for by followers). On, Sunday, the first day of the week, followers of Jesus, including Mary Magdalene, went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body. However, they found it empty. Jesus had risen from the dead and in the days following, made several appearances to his disciples. After, he ascended into heaven offering his followers the gift of forgiveness for their sins and eternal life in heaven.