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Christians in Ketchikan and around the world will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ Sunday.
Jesus was crucified on Good Friday. Easter commemorates his returning from the dead. As a result of his sacrifice, Christians — those who believe in Jesus and accept his sacrifice in their place — are freed from their sins and given eternal life in Heaven.
Here is how the Gospel of Luke (New International Version, chapter 28) tells the story of that Sunday morning when the world learned of Jesus' resurrection:
"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
"They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
"In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again."
"Then they remembered his words.
"When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
"It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
"But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
"Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
"Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
"As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
"He asked them, 'What are you discussing together as you walk along?'
"They stood still, their faces downcast.
"One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, 'Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?'
" 'What things?' he asked.
" 'About Jesus of Nazareth,' they replied.
" 'He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.
" 'And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us.
" 'They went to the tomb early this morning but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.
" 'Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.'
"He said to them, 'How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?'
"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
"As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, 'Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.'
"So he went in to stay with them.
"When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
"Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
"They asked each other, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'
"They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem.
"There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, 'It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.'
"Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread."