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8 New Testament Scriptures to Contemplate on Easter Sunday

Roma Maitlall

Contributing Writer
Published: Apr 14, 2022
8 New Testament Scriptures to Contemplate on Easter Sunday Plus

 If we participate in Jesus’ death, Paul explains, it follows that we may hope to come alive with Him also—participating in His glorious resurrection.

The New Testament offers a treasure trove of beautiful and memorable passages about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Here are my thoughts on eight of them. I am sure they will enrich and inspire you this coming Easter Sunday—and every day thereafter. 

John 11:25-35

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 

These are the words Jesus speaks to his dear friend Martha, whose brother, Lazarus, has just died. Martha is devastated. “Lord,” she says, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask” (John 11:21). 

When Jesus assures Martha that her brother “will rise again” (John 11:23), however, Martha is doubtful. “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day,” she cautiously replies (John 11:24).

But Jesus isn’t talking about the end of times. He’s talking about now. Jesus ultimately proves that He is indeed the “resurrection and the life” when he resurrects Lazarus from the dead, shocking Martha and the incredulous crowd. 

Philippians 3:10-11

"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead."

In his letters, Paul frequently voices his desire to participate in Jesus’ sufferings. As Christians, he explains, we must carry our metaphorical crosses beside Jesus and die a spiritual death, giving up our old, sinful ways. Though this may sound difficult, take heart! If we participate in Jesus’ death, Paul explains, it follows that we may hope to come alive with Him also—participating in His glorious resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

"Since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." 

Paul passionately articulates this teaching throughout his letters (SEE: Romans 5:19). Because of Adam’s disobedience, humankind died a spiritual death. But, because of Jesus’s obedience, humankind has been restored to life forevermore. How wonderful!

1 Corinthians 15:53-56

"For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 

It sounds almost like a battle cry: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Paul posed these rhetorical questions to the Christians at the church he’d founded in Corinth, who were seeking assurance about their faith and clarification about the gospel. Paul’s message couldn’t have been clearer. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, death no longer has power or claim over humankind.

In the prior verse, Paul refers to “the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’” This is an allusion to one of the prophecies of Isaiah, who predicted that the Messiah would destroy death once and for all. “On this mountain,” wrote the prophet, “he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever” (Isaiah 25:7-8). 

Paul thus offers Scriptural evidence to demonstrate that Jesus’ death and resurrection were in the making for centuries before His birth. In fact, it had been a part of God’s eternal plan all along. Isn’t that amazing?   

Matthew 28:6

"He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."

For some reason, this particular verse makes me quite emotional. It’s the words spoken by the angel to the women who had come to Jesus’ tomb, hoping to anoint His dead body. This verse moves me, I think, because it’s so straightforward and simple. The angel isn’t blowing a trumpet or singing a joyful song. Rather, he is just nonchalantly sitting on the stone he’d rolled away from the tomb’s entrance and informing the women of the bare facts—without any pomp or circumstance: “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”

Just as he said. Indeed, Jesus had alluded to His death and resurrection before He was killed (SEE: Matthew 16:21, Mark 8:31-32, and Luke 9:22). The angel is ultimately suggesting that what he has announced is nothing shocking—it was always going to happen. I can imagine just how awestruck the women felt and how their souls—recently overshadowed with despair—were now brimming over with immeasurable hope. 

1 Peter 1:3

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." 

As Peter explains here, the resurrection of Jesus means that we can be born again. It’s a spiritual renewal—a fresh start for the soul—and gives us an eternal hope—one that can never be destroyed. 

Philippians 2:8-11

"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

I think I’m in the majority here when I say that I just love this passage. It’s one of my favorites. Not only did Jesus, the sovereign King of the universe, go beneath Himself by becoming a man, but He also submitted to the most ignominious death known to humanity at the time: “death on a cross!” How blessed are we to be the children of such a selfless and loving Lord! And may we always fall on our knees and sing of the wonderful name of Jesus, by whom we have been saved!

Romans 6:8-11

"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to since for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

In this heartwarming passage, Paul explains that Jesus’s resurrection means that the powers of sin and death no longer have power or claim over us. As followers of Jesus, we are able to partake in His immortality and reassume our rightful place in heaven. Isn’t it incredible that we are immune to death because Jesus, our Lord and Savior, took it upon Himself and vanquished it on the cross? We are so blessed to be the people of God!

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/FREDERICA ABAN

Roma Maitlall fancies herself a bit of a logophile (from the Greek, meaning “lover of words”). Her lifelong passion for writing—combined with her love of Jesus—inspired her to study English and theology at St. John’s—a university located in Queens, New York, her hometown, where she always dreamed of becoming a writer. Now a full-time writer, Roma enjoys spending time with her wonderful sisters and family, learning everything there is to know about history, literature, art, and Christianity, and using her words to give glory to Jesus.