Easter is the day we remember the Savior’s Atonement and celebrate His glorious Resurrection. The greatest event ever to take place in the history of the world was the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Over 2,000 years ago on a hill called Golgotha, just outside of the city of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross. We cannot comprehend how great the pain and agony the Savior suffered as He hung upon that cross. After about six hours, the Savior said, “It is finished.” He bowed His head and said with a loud voice, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46.)
That is what death is: a separation of the spirit and the body. The Savior’s body was taken from the cross and placed in a borrowed tomb. Three days later, Mary Magdalene and some other women came to the sepulcher, and found the stone rolled away. The body of the Savior was not there. Two men in shining garments said to them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.” (Luke 24:5-6.) Jesus Christ was resurrected to eternal and everlasting life. He would never die again; His spirit would never be separated from His immortal body.
A short time later, the resurrected Savior appeared to the 11 disciples. Jesus, himself, stood in the midst of them, and said, “Peace be unto you.” But they were terrified, and supposed they had seen a spirit.
He said, “Why are ye troubled, and why to thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold, my hands and my feet, that it is I, myself: handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:36-39.) The Savior is saying, “I am not a spirit. Handle me and see.”
Days later, the Savior gave a second eyewitness account of the reality of the resurrection when He met with the 11, and Thomas, who was not present at the first meeting, was there. Thomas had said earlier, “Except I shall see in His hands, the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
After eight days the disciples met again, and Thomas was with them. The Savior said to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:25-27.)
Christ proves the truth and reality of the resurrection. He is not a spirit. He has a glorified, eternal, resurrected body of flesh and bones. As He said, “Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.”
Because of the resurrection of Christ, we will all be resurrected. The Apostle Paul said, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22.) The Apostle John said, “But we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2.)
We shall all rise from mortality to immortality, because of the resurrection of the Savior. As we celebrate Easter, we need to give the Savior a big “Thank You!” for giving us the greatest gift of all: Resurrection and Eternal Life.
McEachern is a former bishop of the Tooele First Ward.