April 17, 2022

Easter Part 4 - Jesus is Alive


Easter Part 4: Jesus is Alive!

1 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. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 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? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”’ 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 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.(Luke 24:1-12)

All four Gospels, Matthew, Mark Luke and John, tell us that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried in a tomb. What do these four Gospels say about the Jesus’ resurrection or rising from the dead?
Let us first look at the sequence of events over the period of time after Jesus death till He ascended. Now remember, the Gospels are documents which have recorded historical events.

The tomb is empty
• Two Marys watch the burial: (Matthew27:61, Mark 15:47, Luke23:54-55)
• Roman soldiers guard the tomb and place an official Roman seal upon it: (Matthew 27:62-66)
• Women prepare burial spices then rest: (Luke 23:56)
• An angel rolls the stone away: (Matthew 28:2-4)
• Women arrive at dawn with spices: (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-4, Luke 24:1-3, John 20:1)
• Angels appear to women: (Matthew 28:5-7, Mark 16:5-7, Luke 24:4-8)
• The women dart back to tell disciples: (Matthew 28:8, Mark 16:8, Luke 24:9-11, John 20:2)
• Peter and John investigate the empty tomb: (Luke 24:12, John 20:3-9)
• Peter and John go home: (Luke 24:12, John 20:10)
• Mary Magdalene weeps by the tomb: (John 20:11)
• Mary sees two angels: (John 20:12-13)

Jesus’ appearances
• Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene: (Mark 16:9, John 20:14-17)
• Jesus appears to the other women: (Matthew 28:9-10)
• Women report to the disciples: (Mark 16:10-11, John 20:18)
• Guards testify to the priests: (Matthew 28:11-15)
• Jesus meets two people on the Emmaus Road: (Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-32)
• Jesus appears to Simon Peter: (1 Corinthians 15:5, Luke 24:34)
• Two men on the Emmaus Road report to disciples in Jerusalem: (Luke 24:33-35)
• Jesus appears to the Disciples less Thomas: (Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-24)
• Disciples report to Thomas: (John 20:25)
• Jesus appears to the Disciples and Thomas: (Mark 16:14, John 20:26-29)
• Jesus appears to seven people: (John 21:1-14)
• Jesus questions Peter 3 times: (John 21:15-23)
• Jesus appears to 500 people: (1 Corinthians 15:6)
• Jesus appears to James: (1 Corinthians 15:7)

Evidences for the resurrection

These facts remain for the resurrection. Look at them and study them. Notice the changed attitude of the disciples after seeing the risen Jesus. They changed from defeated, cowardly people to victorious, brave people. Nobody who could have produced the dead body of Jesus, did so. Their silence is as significant as the preaching of the Apostles. Or take the multiple appearances of Jesus to various numbers of individuals and groups of people at various times of the day and in differing circumstances.

This shows that Jesus’ resurrection was physical in nature! Some people say Jesus’ resurrection was spiritual in nature but not physical. But the amount of people that saw Him physically afterwards dispels that particular myth. What about the current tangible evidence - the survival and inordinate growth and impact of the early church and that the church is still growing 2000 years later. If there was no bodily resurrection of Jesus, would people really have risked persecution and death for knowing a lie? One or two people maybe, but not hundreds. Certainly not thousands!

Come back tomorrow where we continue looking at Jesus' resurrection.

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