The Characters of Easter
The Villains, Heroes, Cowards, and Crooks Who Witnessed History's Biggest Miracle
Meet the unlikely people who witnessed history’s greatest event.
At Easter, the Son of God took on the world’s sin and defeated the devil, death, and grave. How is it, then, that history’s most glorious moment is surrounded by fearful fishermen, despised tax collectors, marginalized women, feeble politicians, and traitorous friends?
In The Characters of Easter, you’ll become acquainted with the unlikely collection of ordinary people who witnessed the miracle of Christ’s death and resurrection. Enter their stories and ultimately draw closer to Christ Himself as you encounter His Passion through their experiences. Take a journey back to first-century Palestine and walk in the shoes of legendary people like Simon Peter, Judas, Pilate, John, Mary Magdalene and others.
This book provides a fresh approach to the Lenten season and can be used as a devotional or study for both individuals and groups. Once you’ve learned about the characters of Easter, meet those who witnessed the birth of Christ in the companion title The Characters of Christmas.
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Church Series Kit
This Easter, have your church discover the unlikely people caught up in the story of Jesus. Transform your church into The Characters of Easter theme! Download a free package of digital files, including:
- Sermon Notes and Research
- Invite cards
- Presentation graphics
- Digital slides
About the author
Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and leader. He was recently appointed as the director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dan is a bestselling author of several books, including The Original Jesus, The Dignity Revolution, The Characters of Christmas, The Characters of Easter, and A Way With Words. He is the general editor, along with Trillia Newbell, of a small group study on racial reconciliation, The Church and the Racial Divide and is a contributor to The Worldview Study Bible.
Dan is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications. He is a columnist for World Magazine, and a regular contributor to USA Today. His work is often featured in Christianity Today and The Gospel Coalition and his op-eds have appeared in The Washington Post, CNN, Washington Times, Time, Huffington Post, National Review, First Things, and other leading outlets. Publisher’s Weekly called his writing style “substantive and punchy.”
Dan speaks and preaches around the country and is regularly interviewed on radio and television, including MSNBC’s Morning Joe, CNN, and Fox. He is the host of a popular weekly podcast The Way Homewhere he interviews Christian leaders, politicians, and journalists. He holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College, has studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served churches in Illinois and Tennessee. He and his wife Angela have four children.
What others are saying:
Dan Darling is such a delight to read! With eloquence and clarity, he gives us a tour of the many characters who witnessed the most important event in human history—Jesus’ resurrection. Readers will be blessed to pick up this book!
Professor of New Testament at Southern Seminary; Spiritual Formation Pastor, Sojourn East
How often do we know the style and traditions of Easter, pastel colors, spring dresses, and seersucker suits, more than we know the actual characters involved in the story of our Lord’s resurrection? The ultimate importance of Easter is that the tomb is empty, but there is so much more to the story that Dan Darling unlocks to help us see the significance of all those involved in the story leading up to the Super Bowl of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m looking forward to using The Characters of Easter as a primary reference for preaching a sermon series leading up to Easter, and I’m thankful he wrote this book.
Author of The Unsaved Christian; founding pastor of City Church Tallahassee
How fitting that a book about the resurrection makes the characters come alive! In The Characters of Easter, Dan Darling manages to make the most important theological event in history equally accessible to the person who’s learning the story for the first time and the seasoned theologian who has studied it carefully for years. Filled with thoughtful and practical insights, this book will fuel the reader’s passion for the passion story.
Dean of the School of Theology and Professor of Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Senior Pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church
I don’t know how it happened. But somewhere along the way, I became numb to the wonder of Easter. I still believed that Jesus rose from the grave, but the miracle no longer moved and amazed me the way it once did. The Characters of Easter was the perfect antidote for my spiritual stupor. Darling’s vivid portraits of the people present at the first Easter brought the momentous event to life for me. I learned fascinating details about the ancient world and received fresh insights about Jesus’ friend and enemies. In the end, The Characters of Easter renewed my gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection and left me worshiping in the light of the empty tomb. I know it will do the same for you.
Editor; author of Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science