Absolute biblical recordings reveal witnesses to this extreme historic event. Jesus did arise from the dead! There are so many witnesses to His resurrection, it becomes unfathomable how doubters make claims against documented facts.
Thankfully, though the physical body of Jesus is gone His spiritual presence lives forever! The miracle of Jesus raised to life from death is central in Christianity. There is no one else who walked this earth that man slaughtered, then came back to life!
Jesus’ resurrection means death is defeated. He alone is the final sacrifice for sin, assuring those who believe in Him have eternal life with Him.
Jesus’ lifeless body was taken down on Preparation Day, with permission of Pilate, by Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Jewish council who did not consent to Jesus’ cruxifixction. Accompanying Joseph was Nicodemus. He too was a prominent man, Pharisee, member of the Sanhedrin and did not consent to the cruxifixction.
At great risk to their own futures, the men prepared Jesus’ for burial. According to Jewish custom they wrapped Jesus’ body with spices, myrrh and aloes then linen strips. Then they laid the body in Joseph’s own empty tomb. A large rock was rolled into the tomb opening.
There were women from Galilee at the cruxifixction who were followers of Jesus. Now, they followed Joseph to saw where Jesus’ body was laid. They planned to return the next morning with spices of their own to anoint on Jesus’ body. This group of people would be the last to witness the dead, beaten, whipped and pierced human body of Christ.
Thankfully, that sight is not where Jesus’ story ends! Because three days later He rose from the dead!
Luke 24:1-7 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 over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
Christ The Lord Has Risen!
The tomb was empty on a Sunday, and for the next forty days Jesus revealed Himself:
Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
There can be no doubt the following list of people, documented by the New Testament, were witness to our risen Lord. Some of them spoke directly with Jesus, some ate with Jesus, others saw and heard Him speak.
- Mary Magdalene – John 20:4-16
- Mary the mother of James – Matthew 28:9
- Salome – Matthew 28:9
- Joanna – Matthew 28:9
- Peter – Luke 24:34
- Cleopas and another man on the road to Emma’s – Luke 24:13-16
- Ten of the original twelve disciples: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Nathanael (Bartholomew), Jude, Matthew, Philip, Simon the Zealot and younger James (Thomas was missing) – John 20:24
- Eleven of the original disciples – John 20:26-28
- Peter – John 21
- Thomas – John 21
- Nathanael – John 21
- James – John 21
- John – John 21
- Two other disciples – John 21
- Five hundred brothers and sisters – 1 Corinthians 15:6
- James, Jesus’ half brother – 1 Corinthians 15:7
I pray you are a believer in Jesus as your Lord and savior and not a doubter. His love for you outweighs the confines of this earth, all demonstrated by His willingness to die on the cross. Because He over came death, believers have life! You too will have eternal life, if you believe in Him.
If you do not believe Jesus died and resurrected, invite Him into your heart right now. Confess your sin and unworthiness. He desires a relationship with you. You are never far from Him and with a heartfelt invitation, He will resurrect your life as well.
Next week I’ll share how God responds to believers and unbelievers.