Does Bible Talk About Easter? Old & New Testaments

by Hyacinth

Easter, arguably the most significant event in the Christian calendar, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. While Easter itself isn’t explicitly mentioned in the Bible, the events surrounding it are profoundly rooted in both the Old and New Testaments. Exploring the Scriptures reveals a rich tapestry of historical, theological, and symbolic connections that lead to the Easter narrative as we know it today.

Old Testament Connections

To understand Easter in its biblical context, one must first delve into the Old Testament, where the roots of this celebration can be found. A key precursor to Easter is the Passover feast, which commemorates the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. The instructions for the first Passover are detailed in Exodus 12, where God commands the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb and mark their doorposts with its blood, so the Angel of Death would pass over their homes, sparing their firstborn.

The Passover feast is significant as it foreshadows the sacrificial aspect of Easter. The symbolism of the Passover lamb, whose blood saves the Israelites from death, finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ, often referred to as the “Lamb of God” in the New Testament. Just as the blood of the lamb protected the Israelites, Christians believe that Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross provides salvation and eternal life for believers.

The connection between the Passover lamb and Jesus is explicitly made in the New Testament, particularly in the Gospel of John, where John the Baptist declares, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). This statement underscores the theological significance of Jesus’ death as the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.

New Testament Accounts

The heart of the Easter narrative is found in the New Testament Gospels, which provide detailed accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Each Gospel offers a unique perspective on these events, emphasizing different aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry.

In the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), the Last Supper is a focal point. During this Passover meal, Jesus institutes the Eucharist, symbolizing his body and blood given for the forgiveness of sins. This intimate gathering with his disciples serves as a prelude to Jesus’ impending betrayal and crucifixion.

The Gospel of Matthew vividly portrays Jesus’ arrest, trial before the Sanhedrin, and subsequent crucifixion. It includes details such as Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, and Pilate’s reluctance to condemn Jesus. The crucifixion scene culminates in Jesus’ final words before his death, including the iconic cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

Mark’s Gospel similarly depicts Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion but with a sense of urgency and immediacy. The brevity of Mark’s account underscores the rapid pace of events leading to Jesus’ death. The Gospel ends with the discovery of the empty tomb by the women who had come to anoint Jesus’ body, leaving the reader with a sense of anticipation and wonder.

Luke’s Gospel offers a more comprehensive narrative, incorporating additional details such as Jesus’ appearance before Herod and his interactions with various individuals along the way to Calvary. Luke also provides one of the most detailed post-resurrection accounts, including Jesus’ appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus and his subsequent appearance to the gathered disciples in Jerusalem.

The Gospel of John provides a unique perspective on the events of Easter, emphasizing Jesus’ divinity and the significance of his sacrificial death. John’s account includes intimate conversations between Jesus and his disciples, such as the lengthy farewell discourse in chapters 13-17. John also highlights Jesus’ interactions with individuals like Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, and Thomas, which serve to deepen the reader’s understanding of Jesus’ identity and mission.

In addition to the Gospels, the book of Acts provides insight into the early Christian community’s celebration of the resurrection. Acts describes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which empowered the disciples to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ resurrection boldly. The book also highlights the growth of the early church and its mission to spread the message of salvation to the ends of the earth.

Theological Significance

At the heart of the Easter message lies the concept of Jesus’ sacrifice and its central role in Christian theology. The apostle Paul articulates this theological truth in his letter to the Romans, where he writes, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Paul goes on to explain that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, believers are justified and reconciled to God, receiving the gift of salvation and eternal life.

The Easter story also embodies themes of redemption, salvation, and new life. Just as the Israelites were delivered from bondage in Egypt, Christians believe that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they are set free from the power of sin and death. This idea is expressed vividly in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, where he declares, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Furthermore, Easter serves as a reminder of the hope that Christians have in the promise of resurrection. Just as Jesus conquered death and rose again, believers look forward to the day when they too will be raised to new life in him. This eschatological hope is beautifully captured in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where he writes, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).


In conclusion, while the word “Easter” may not appear in the Bible, the events it commemorates are deeply rooted in Scripture. From the Old Testament foreshadowing in the Passover feast to the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, the Easter story is woven throughout the pages of the Bible. Its theological significance lies in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, which provides redemption and new life for all who believe. As Christians around the world celebrate Easter, they are reminded of the profound love of God manifested in the person of Jesus Christ, who willingly laid down his life so that they might have eternal life.

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