“April 15–21. Easter: ‘O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory?’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“April 15–21. Easter,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Record Your Impressions
During the last week of the Savior’s life, many Jews around Him were participating in the traditions of Passover. They prepared meals, sang songs, and gathered together to remember the deliverance of the house of Israel from slavery to the Egyptians. Families listened to the story of the destroying angel passing over the homes of their ancestors who had marked their doors with lamb’s blood. Amid all these celebrations so rich with the symbolism of deliverance, relatively few were aware that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was about to deliver them from the slavery of sin and death—through His suffering, His death, and His Resurrection. Even so, there were those who recognized Jesus as their promised Messiah, their eternal Deliverer. From that day onward, disciples of Jesus Christ have borne witness to all the world “that Christ died for our sins … ; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4).
One way to focus on the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement this week is to spend time each day reading about the last week of Jesus’s life (a possible reading schedule follows). What do you find in these chapters that helps you feel the Savior’s love? What do you learn about His power to deliver you from sin and death? What do you learn about enduring trials and overcoming weaknesses? How are you exercising faith in His power of deliverance?
Sunday: Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:6–11)
Monday: Cleansing the temple (Matthew 21:12–16)
Tuesday: Teaching in Jerusalem (Matthew 21–23)
Wednesday: Continued teaching (Matthew 24–25)
Thursday: The Passover and Christ’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26)
Friday: Trial, Crucifixion, and burial (Matthew 27:1–61)
Sunday: The appearance of the resurrected Christ (Matthew 28:1–10)
Imagine what it would have been like for the disciples to watch Jesus being mocked, mistreated, and crucified. They had been witnesses of His power, felt the truth of His teachings, and had faith that He was the Son of God. Witnessing His death may have been a trial of faith for some, but soon they became witnesses of the great miracle of His Resurrection.
What can you learn from the accounts of those who witnessed the Resurrected Savior? Mark or note each person’s experience in Matthew 28:1–10; Luke 24:13–35; John 20:19–29; and 1 Corinthians 15:1–8, 55. (Note that other witnesses of the resurrected Christ can be found in 3 Nephi 11; Mormon 1:15; Ether 12:38–39; Doctrine and Covenants 76:19–24; 110:1–10; and Joseph Smith—History 1:15–17.) In these accounts, what strengthens your faith in the literal Resurrection of the Lord? After the Savior’s Resurrection, others were resurrected and appeared to many (see Matthew 27:52–53; 3 Nephi 23:9). Why do you feel it is important that this was recorded in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon?
See also “Jesus Is Resurrected,” “The Risen Lord Appears to the Apostles,” “Blessed Are They That Have Not Seen, and Yet Have Believed” (videos, LDS.org).
Elder Paul V. Johnson’s daughter Alisa, who suffered from terminal cancer and endured many surgeries, exemplified the “lively hope” Peter described in 1 Peter 1:3–11. Elder Johnson shared a letter Alisa wrote at Easter time, shortly before she passed away: “Easter is a reminder of all that I hope for myself. That someday I will be healed and someday I will be whole. Someday I won’t have any metal or plastic inside of me. Someday my heart will be free of fear and my mind free of anxieties. … I am so glad I truly believe in a beautiful afterlife” (“And There Shall Be No More Death,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 121).
What words or phrases in 1 Peter 1:3–11 give you hope because of Jesus Christ? When have you felt that hope? How can you share the hope you have through Jesus Christ with those you love?
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some suggestions:
The “Holy Week” section of mormon.org/easter contains a time line and description of what happened on each day of the last week of the Savior’s life. Each day of the week your family could review these descriptions to see what the Savior did that day, or you could read about His last week in the scriptures as a family (see a suggested list in the “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study” section).
Consider singing songs together about the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection during this week, including some that are less familiar to you (see the topics index of Hymns or Children’s Songbook, under topics such as “Atonement,” “Easter,” or “Resurrection”). To help family members learn the songs, you could show pictures that go with the words.
As a family, read “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” (Ensign or Liahona, Apr. 2000, 2–3; see also LDS.org), and invite each family member to pick an Easter message from this testimony to share with others. For example, you might create posters to display on social media, on your front door, or in your window.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.