Easter Sunday marks the most dramatic moment in the Easter story: Jesus died for our sins… and then rose again. In doing so, he not only paid for our sins but powerfully showed his divinity. These Bible passages and quotes by noted Christians help us consider what happened on that momentous day when Jesus’ followers found his tomb empty.
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Bible Passages about the Resurrection
The Gospels contain several key passages describing Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday. Here are the most important of those passages, arranged in order of events:
The Angel appearing to the Women
“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6)
“‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.’” (Mark 16:6)
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” (Luke 24:1-7)
Jesus Appearing to Mary Magdalene
“Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:16-18)
Jesus Appearing to His Disciples
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:19-23)
Jesus Appearing to Doubting Thomas
“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later, his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29)
Inspiring Quotes about the Resurrection
Jesus’ resurrection has prompted pastors, Biblical scholars, evangelists, and others to capture its glory and implications. These quotes are a selection of views from Christian thinkers, past and present, about the resurrection.
1. “In God’s economy, death is the way to life.” —Milton Vincent, The Gospel Primer
2. “To be a Christian is to have a joyful attitude toward the resurrection claim, to stake one’s life on it, and to rest one’s hope upon its promise—the promise of a new heaven and new earth.” —Cornel West, Prophetic Fragments
3. “The resurrection brings redemption not only to the people of God but also to the entire order of creation. ‘The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed… in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of the God’ (Romans 8:19-21).” —Ted Dorman, A Faith for All Seasons
5. “After the suffering, Jesus rose from the grave into a new life.” —Judith Couchman, The Mystery of the Cross
6. “Jesus’ death and resurrection once and for all should give us hope that we can never be forsaken, forgotten, or overlooked by God.” —Michael Card, The Sacred Sorrow
7. “We live and die. Christ died and lived!” —John Stott, Authentic Christianity
8. “Why should you weep? For Jesus rose from the dead, so shall you.” —Charles Spurgeon, "Looking Unto Jesus"
9. “You could speak of Jesus’ rising as the most hopeful—hope-full—thing that has ever happened—and you would be right!” —J.I. Packer, Growing in Christ
10. “The resurrection meant, first, that Christ was undeniably God. He was what He claimed to be. Christ was Deity in the flesh.” —Billy Graham, “Peace with God”
11. “What is the difference between a dead Christ, whom the women went to anoint, and a living Christ? A dead Christ, I must do everything for; a living Christ does everything for me.” —Andrew Murray, Jesus Himself
12. “If Jesus rose from the dead, it changes everything.” Timothy Keller, The Reason for God
13. “It is considered normal in the twentieth century that dead people stay in the grave. The same could be said of the first century. But the resurrection of Jesus was not normal.” —R.C. Sproul, What We Believe
14. “One thing is certain: if He was God and nothing else, His immortality means nothing to us; if He was man and no more, His death is no important than yours or mine. But if He really was God and man, then when the man Jesus died, God died too, and when the God Jesus rose from the dead, man rose too, because they were one and the same person.” —Dorothy L. Sayers, The Gospel in Dorothy L. Sayers
15. “However serious we believe Good Friday is, we are confidant that Easter Sunday lies ahead of us. And what if we do die? Jesus died too, and if Jesus died we believe that now he lives, and that we shall live too.” —Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
16. “If Christ a new kind of man appeared: and the new kind of life which began in Him is to be put into us.” —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
17. “The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom… It is the decisive event demonstrating that God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven. The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.” —N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope
18. “In a profound sense, Christianity without the Resurrection is not simply Christianity without its final chapter. It is not Christianity at all.” —Gerald O’Collins
19. “On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways, they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.” —G.K. Chesterton, Everlasting Man
20. “The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus means that one day everything sad will come untrue.” —JRR Tolkien
21. “This resurrection of Christ is the most joyful event that ever came to pass; because hereby Christ rested from the great and difficult work of purchasing redemption, and received God’s testimony, that it was finished.” —Jonathan Edwards, A History of the Work of Redemption
22. “The body in Joseph’s new tomb appears to signify the end of everything for Christ and His disciples. The limp form of a newly dead believer suggests everlasting defeat. Yet how wrong are all these appearances. The tree will bloom again.” —A.W. Tozer, This World: Battlefield or Playground?
23. “Easter is not about immortality but about resurrection from a death that is a real death with all its frightfulness and horrors, resurrection from a death of the body and the soul, of the whole person, resurrection by the power of God’s mighty act. This is the Easter message.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is On the Cross
24. “The resurrection of Christ has enough in it to ally all our sorrows, to check the streams, and dry up the fountains, of our tears.” —Matthew Henry
25. “But since Christ has taken my sins upon himself, has died for them, has suffered himself to be slain on account of my sins, they can no longer harm me; for Christ is too strong for them, they cannot keep him, he breaks forth and overpowers them, ascends into heaven… and rules there over all throughout eternity.” —Martin Luther, "The Story of Christ's Resurrection"
26. “Everything depends on whether we know the resurrected Christ and whether we have his Spirit.”—Eberhard Arnold
27. “Unless something very real indeed took place on that strange, confused morning, there would be no New Testament, no Church, no Christianity.”—Federick Buechner
28. “We have in his death the complete fulfillment of salvation, for through it we are reconciled to God, his righteous judgment is satisfied, the curse is removed, and the penalty paid in full.” —John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
29. “O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” —The Paschal Homily of John Chrysostom
30. “By His Resurrection, Christ conquered sin and death, destroyed Satan’s dark kingdom, freed the enslaved human race and broke the seal on the greatest mysteries of God and man.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich
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G. Connor Salter is a writer and editor, with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing from Taylor University. In 2020, he won First Prize for Best Feature Story in a regional contest by the Colorado Press Association Network. He has contributed over 1,000 articles to various publications, including interviews for Christian Communicator and book reviews for The Evangelical Church Library Association. Find out more about his work here.
This article is part of our larger Inspiring Quotes resource meant to encourage and strengthen your faith. Visit our most popular quotes by well known Christians and theologians to find more inspiration. Remember, the Holy Spirit can work through us when we have faith and share it with others! Please pass along any quotes that touch your heart because you never know light you’ll shine on someone else’s dark day!