When Jesus lived on earth, criminals were put to death by nailing them to wooden crosses and leaving them to die. Jesus wasn’t a criminal, but He was treated like one.
Three men were to be crucified that Friday: Jesus and two thieves. Soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross with big nails in His hands and feet. Then they lifted the cross and dropped it into a hole in the ground.
Jesus prayed for them. “Father, forgive these people. They don’t know what they are doing.”
The Jewish leaders looked up at Jesus. “He saved other people,” they shouted, “but He can’t save Himself!”
The soldiers made fun of Jesus. They put a sign above His head that said, “This Is the King of the Jews.”
The two thieves hung on either side of Jesus. One began to make fun of Jesus. But the other said, “We deserve to die! But this man hasn’t done anything wrong!” Then he asked Jesus to remember him. And Jesus promised him that one day he would be in heaven.
At noontime the sky became dark as night. People were afraid! Soon Jesus died.
Joseph, Jesus’ friend, took Jesus’ body down from the cross and put it in a new tomb. A big rock was rolled in front of the tomb. The sun went down. It was Sabbath.
Jesus’ friends rested on the Sabbath day. But they were very, very sad. They didn’t understand what had happened. What would happen next?
Sunday morning some of the women who loved Jesus went to the tomb. The stone had been rolled away, and the tomb was empty!
Two angels in white robes appeared suddenly before the troubled women.
“Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive?” an angel asked. “Jesus told you that He would die, but that He would rise again on the third day.”
These women ran to tell Jesus’ other friends, and the good news spread quickly. “Jesus is alive! Jesus is alive!”
He is alive today. And the good news about Jesus is still spreading around the world. And this is it: Jesus loves us. Jesus died for us. And He rose from the dead. Jesus is in heaven right now. And when He comes again, He will take everyone who believes in Him to heaven to live with Him forever.