We hope these short pieces by BYU religion professors will enhance your study of Easter and bring meaning to the holiday. These are taken from the BYU New Testament Commentary website and from recommended study resources.
"Preparing for Easter," Eric D. Huntsman, LDS Seasonal Materials
Dr. Huntsman's blog collates readings from the four Gospels for each day from Palm Sunday to Easter morning, along with commentary and suggested hymns for individual, family, or class worship.
"Dating the Death of Jesus Christ," Jeffrey R. Chadwick, BYU Studies, Volume 54, no. 4
While we can't be certain, evidence suggests that Jesus was crucified on a Thursday in the spring of AD 30, on the eve of Passover, the 14th day of the Jewish month Nisan, which in that year fell on April 6 in the old Julian calendar.
"Why Should the Cross Be Meaningful to Latter-day Saints?," Gaye Strathearn, BYU New Testament Commentary
The events on the cross are an integral part of the Atonement. The cross, as the place of being "lifted up," is a symbol of God's great love for his children. We are asked to take up our cross as disciples of Christ. Jesus kept the signs of the crucifixion on his resurrected body.
"John's Account of the Last Supper: The Lamb of God: Unique Aspects of the Passion Narrative in John," Eric D. Huntsman, BYU New Testament Commentary
John's account of the Last Supper contains unique elements recorded nowhere else.
"The Trial and Death of Jesus," John W. Welch, BYU New Testament Commentary
Why was Jesus killed? Who was responsible? Looking at the legal circumstances, it is clear the Jesus was in full control from the beginning to the end.
"Raising Lazarus: Jesus's Signing of His Own Death Warrant," John W. Welch, BYU New Testament Commentary
Without seeing the raising of Lazarus as a background, it is hard to imagine a reason why a large multitude of people would have followed Jesus into Jerusalem shouting, "Hosanna! Save us now!" and why the chief priests turned the crowds away and were able to execute him so quickly.
"The Legal Cause of Action against Jesus in John 18:29-30," John W. Welch, BYU New Testament Commentary
Looking deeply at John 18:29-30 shows why the accusation in that verse holds a key for understanding the legal cause of action and strategy of the chief priests in the proceedings against Jesus.
"Farewell Discourses and the High Priestly Prayer," Eric D. Huntsman, BYU New Testament Commentary
The Gospel of John enriches our understanding of the events and teachings of Jesus' last night with passages that include Jesus' last discourses and his beautiful Intercessory Prayer (John 13:31-17:26).