"My Redeemer Lives"
"Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" John 20:15
Scriptures Describing the Resurrection of Christ
Matthew records that, after the Sabbath, as dawn approached, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary approached Jesus' tomb. He reported that an angel of the Lord had descended from heaven simultaneously with a great earthquake. He rolled away the stone at the tomb and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were as white as snow. The guards at the tomb shook for fear of him and were paralyzed like dead men. The angel told the women not to fear. They were looking for Jesus, who was not here, for He had risen from among the dead, just as He had said. They were to come and examine the empty tomb. Then they were to run and tell Jesus' disciples that He had risen. He would go ahead of them into Galilee, and they were to meet Him there (Matt. 28:1-7).
As the women ran, fearfully and joyfully from the tomb to report to the disciples, Jesus met them and greeted them. They prostrated themselves, grabbed His feet, and worshiped Him. Jesus told them not to be afraid, then repeated the assignment to tell His brothers to leave for Galilee and see Him there (Matt. 28:8-10).
Some of the guard entered the city and told the chief priests what had happened. After consulting one another, they bribed the soldiers to say that Jesus' disciples came by night and stole the body. If the governor heard about this, the leaders would influence him not to prosecute. The soldiers accepted the bribe and this explanation came to be widely circulated among Jewish people (Matt. 28:11-15)
The eleven disciples proceeded to the mountain in Galilee. When they saw Jesus, they worshiped Him, but some were doubtful. Jesus told them that all authority had been given to Him in heaven and on earth. Therefore they were to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe everything He had commanded. He would always be with them, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:16-20).
Mark reported that, after the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices to come and anoint Jesus. Very early on the first day of the week they were wondering who would roll away the stone. When they arrived, they saw that the stone had been rolled away despite its huge size. They entered the tomb and were alarmed by a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe. He told them not to be alarmed. They were looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who had been crucified. He was not here, for He was risen. He told them to look at the place where he had once lain. They were to tell His disciples and Peter that Jesus was going to Galilee, and He would see them there. The women fled from the tomb, because trembling and astonishment had overtaken them. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid (Mark 16:1-8). [The remainder of Mark 16:9-20, and an additional brief section (Mark 16:21) lack authenticity, so I do not report on these here.]
From Luke we learn that Joseph of Arimathea boldly asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. He wrapped the body in a linen cloth and laid Him in an unused tomb cut in the rock. The women who had come with Him from Galilee followed and saw how the body was laid in the tomb. They returned and prepared spices and perfumes to anoint the body properly, then rested on the Sabbath Day (Luke 23:50-56).
On the first day of the week they returned to the tomb at early dawn, bringing with them the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb and entered, but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. They were perplexed when suddenly two men stood nearby in dazzling clothing. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. The men asked, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He has risen. Don't you remember how He told you in Galilee that the Son of Man would be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise again the third day?" Then they remembered and returned to report to the eleven and to all the rest. The names of the women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James. The other women with them were also telling these things to the apostles. But these words seemed to them to be nonsense, and they did not believe them. However, Peter got up and ran to the tomb. When he arrived, he stooped and looked in, but he saw only the linen wrappings and returned to his home, amazed at what had happened (Luke 24:1-12).
Meanwhile, two men were walking that day to the village of Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. While they were discussing the events of the past few days, Jesus joined them. But they were prevented from recognizing Him. Jesus asked them what they had been discussing. One of them, Cleopas, asked, "Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who has not heard what has happened?" Jesus responded, in effect, "What are you talking about?" The men replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet mighty in word and deed in the sight of God and all the people. But the leaders delivered him over to be crucified. We were hoping he would be the one to redeem Israel. This is the third day since this happened. But some women surprised us when they went to his tomb but did not see him. They claimed they saw a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our number checked it out and found the tomb empty, but they did not see Jesus (Luke 24:13-24).
The stranger called the two men foolish and slow of heart to believe all the prophets predicted. He said, "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then enter His glory?" Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets He explained the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures (Luke 24:25-27).
The two men urged the stranger to stay with them for the evening. He did so. When they were eating, He took bread and blessed it and started giving it to them. Suddenly their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him! Then He vanished from their sight (Luke 24:28-31).
The two men arose that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven gathered and others with them. Those who had remained in Jerusalem were saying that the Lord had indeed arisen, and had appeared to Simon Peter. Then the travelers related their experience on the road and how they had finally recognized Jesus when He began breaking bread (Luke 24:33-35).
While they were discussing these things, Jesus suddenly stood among them and said, "Peace be to you!" They were startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a spirit. Jesus responded, "Why are you troubled, and filled with doubt? Look at My hands and feet. Touch me! A spirit does not have flesh and bones as I have." They still could not believe it because of joy and amazement. Finally, He said, "Do you have anything to eat?" So they gave Him some broiled fish, and He ate it in front of them (Luke 24:36-43).
He told them, "I told you that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled." Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He said, "So it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise again on the third day. Repentance for forgiveness of sins through His name must be announced to all the nations beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things! And I am sending forth the promise of My Father. You are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:44-49).
He led them as far as Bethany, where He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And it came about that while He was blessing them, He separated from them and was being carried up into heaven. And after they worshiped Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God! (Luke 24:50-52)
From the Apostle John we gain a little different perspective, from the vantage point of Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John himself. We read that on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb while it was still dark. She saw the stone removed from the tomb. Not venturing inside, she ran immediately to tell Simon Peter and "the other disciple whom Jesus loved" (no doubt John). She told them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." Peter and John ran to the tomb, but John outran Peter and arrived first. He stooped and looked in, observing the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not enter. When Peter arrived, he actually entered the tomb, saw the linen wrappings, and also noticed the face cloth rolled up by itself separately. Then John entered, saw, and believed. They did not at that point yet understand the Scripture predicting His resurrection. They returned to their own homes (John 20:1-9).
Probably winded from her having run to tell Peter and John, Mary Magdalene proceeded back to the tomb at a more sedate pace. When she arrived, Peter and John had already left. Deeply distraught, Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping. Through her tears, she bent down and looked into the tomb. She saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and the other at the foot of the crypt in which Jesus' body had lain. They asked her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She replied, "Because they have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." She turned around and saw Jesus, but did not recognize Him. He asked her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She assumed he was the gardener, and replied, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" which means "Teacher!" Jesus responded, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and tell them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene obeyed and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord!" And she related to them what He had said. (John 20:11-18).
When it was evening on that first day of the week, the disciples gathered together and shut the doors for fear of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly Jesus appeared among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Having said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples rejoiced! Jesus said again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I send You." Next, He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they have been forgiven. If you retain them, they have been retained" (John 20:19-23)
But Thomas, one of the twelve called "Twin," was not with them when Jesus came. He would not believe the others. He said, "Unless I see in His hands the scars of the nails and touch them, and put my hand in His side, I will not believe!" Eight days later the disciples were in the room together and Thomas was with them. Jesus entered, even though the doors were shut, stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you!" Then He turned to Thomas and said, "Reach here with your finger, and see my hands; reach here with your hand and put it into My side. Stop disbelieving, but believe!" Stunned, Thomas simply said, "My Lord and my God!" To which Jesus replied, "Because you have seen have you believed? Blessed are the ones not seeing, yet believing!" (John 20:24-29).
After these events, Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Several of them went fishing, but that night they caught nothing. At dawn, Jesus stood on the shore, but no one recognized Him. He asked if they had caught anything. They said, "No." Jesus told them to cast the net on the right side and they would find fish. They did so, and there were so many fish they were not able to haul in the catch. John said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" So Simon jumped into the sea and began to swim for shore. When they all arrived back on shore there was a charcoal fire with fish broiling, and bread. They hauled in the net and there were 153 fish, but the net was not even torn! Jesus invited them to breakfast, and no one dared ask who He was. Jesus gave them each some fish and bread. This was the third time that Jesus had revealed Himself to His disciples post-resurrection (John 21:1-14).
After breakfast Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him more than the fish. Peter responded affirmatively. Jesus instructed, "Tend My lambs," "Shepherd My sheep," "Tend My sheep" (John 21:15-17).
Then Jesus revealed that Peter would die an untimely death. But He concluded, "Follow Me!" Peter asked Jesus about the future of John. Jesus said that was none of his business; Peter was to follow Jesus (John 21:18-22).
From the book of Acts, written by Luke, we learn that Jesus appeared to the Apostles "by many convincing proofs" over a period of forty days. He was teaching them concerning the kingdom of God. He told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise from the Father. He reminded them that John (the Dipper) had immersed by means of water, but that they would be immersed by means of the Holy Spirit in just a few days. They were asking Him if it was at this time that Jesus would restore the kingdom to Israel. He replied that it was not for them to know the times or the epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. They were to be His witnesses both in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:1-8).
After these things He was lifted up from them while they were gazing at Him until a cloud received Him out of their sight. Suddenly two men in white clothing stood beside them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same manner as you have watched Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:9-11).
Even though Saul, who later became Paul, was the most ardent enemy of Christ and of Christianity, when confronted by the risen Christ on his way to Damascus, he was instantly converted (Acts 9:1-22). He became, instead, the Church's greatest missionary (Acts 13:1-28:31).
From Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, we learn that Jesus appeared to more than 500 Christian brothers at one time, most of whom were still alive at the time of his writing of this letter (1 Cor. 15:3-8).
The Impact of Christ's Resurrection
(Scripture quotation taken from the NASB 1995)
Posted May 28, 2022