The Resurrection

Journey through Scripture

On the morning of the third day, the women returned to Jesus’ burial place with spices to anoint His body. Even this task seemed impossible as a great stone sealed the tomb and hostile armed guards watched over it. But instead, the women found the stone rolled away, and angels, not guards, proclaimed: “He is not here; he has risen!”

This was not all – through the hours of Easter Sunday (and in the coming weeks), Jesus appeared several times to His followers as living proof that He was alive. Read the following Scriptures, telling you all about Jesus’ resurrection appearances on that joyful Easter Sunday.

The angels’ message to the women

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.”’ Then they remembered his words.
Luke 24:1-7 NIVUK

The empty tomb

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
John 20:1-9 NIVUK

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Jesus appears for the first time to Mary Magdalene

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’

‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.

He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’

Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’

She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’).

Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them that he had said these things to her.
John 20:11-18 NIVUK

Jesus appears to the travellers on the road to Emmaus

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 recognising him.
Luke 24:13-16. NIVUK

Jesus appears to the ten disciples

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
John 20:19-20 NIVUK

A deeper look at Scripture

Jesus was not raised from death to a normal physical life as one who would enjoy an extension of His life, and eventually have to die again. This was the case with Lazarus, but not Jesus.

Jesus was not a ‘ghost’ or a ‘spirit’ who belonged to some otherworldly realm. He was raised with a physical body, although it was glorified and had special abilities. The risen Jesus ate and drank with His disciples. Although healed, he retained the wounds in His hands, feet and side and invited Thomas to touch and handle His physical body.

The disciples did not just have a mystical, spiritual experience when they met the risen Christ. Their meetings with Jesus after the resurrection were historical events where they encountered a living person.

This event broke into history and changed the future of humankind forever. It is this historical event that sets Christianity apart from all other religions. Based on firm biblical evidence, we can proclaim:

Jesus is risen.
The grave is empty.
Death has been defeated.
Jesus lives forevermore.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central compelling truth that motivates Christians, through all ages, to carry the Gospel into all the world at all costs. We proclaim a living Saviour whom death and darkness could not defeat and who is alive today – in us and with us.

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How does this apply to me?

  • Take a seat in front of the beautiful stained-glass window in the church’s chapel and reflect on your journey through the stations of Jesus’ suffering, culminating in His victory over death. Consider how the following foundational truths impact your life:
    • As the suffering Servant, Jesus willingly paid the price for our sin, yours and mine, according to all the requirements of a holy and righteous God.
    •  As the risen Son of God, Jesus is alive – in our hearts and His church – today and forever.
    • As the risen King, victorious over sin and death, Jesus rules and reigns at the Father’s right hand in heaven, ever alive to intercede for us.
  • The angels commanded the women and Mary Magdalene: ‘Go quickly and tell his disciples!’ This command applies equally to us today: Go and tell! The message of the resurrection is one that must be shared urgently with everyone.

    Who are you going to tell that Jesus is alive?

    Write down the name of someone with whom you’d like to share the good news of the resurrection during this Easter. Pray for them to come to salvation and place the paper in the prayer box as an act of faith.

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