He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
- Matthew 28:6
1. After His resurrection, Jesus first showed Himself to a woman. (John 20: 1-18)
During this time period, a woman’s word would not have been held as highly as a man’s. Mary Madgeline would have been considered an untrustworthy witness. However, Jesus once again sought after the outcast and oppressed. By doing this, Jesus displayed that He has love and purpose for all people. Her life was transformed with Jesus telling her to spread the news of His resurrection.
2. The words Jesus spoke to the thief on the cross would have had a deeper meaning to Jews of the time. (Luke 23: 39-43)
In the traditional Jewish faith, there is a concept called “bat kol.” This was when a divine voice from Heaven would speak God’s will or His judgment. At the end of their life, Jews would hear a bat kol that would tell them if they acted well enough in life to make it to paradise. Jesus telling the thief that he would go to paradise would have meant a lot to the thief as a bat kol.
3. Jesus was buried in a tomb typically fitted for a rich man.
(Matthew 27: 57-60)
At the time, the average person would be buried in a shallow grave with stones placed around it. However, Joseph of Arimathaea had a tomb hewn from rock that he was reserving for himself when he died. Even though Joseph had not accepted Christ as his Lord when He was alive, Joseph grew to love and believe in Jesus. Therefore, when Jesus died, he begged for His body. With his request granted, Joseph spent time and care embalming the body, then placed it into the tomb he had meant for himself.
4. Nicodemus helped Joseph in readying Jesus’ body for the grave.
(John 19: 38-42)
Nicodemus also had not accepted Christ as his Lord when He was alive. In fact, one of the only other times Nicodemus was mentioned in the Gospels is when he goes to visit Jesus in the secrecy of night. As he was a Pharisee and leader of the Jews, Nicodemus is thought to have been scared that others would see him with Jesus. Nicodemus appeared to struggle between his admiration of Jesus and the shame he felt in seeking counsel from someone of Jesus’ standing in the community. Yet, we end up seeing him help give Jesus’ body the treatment that a rich man would get, representing a change of heart within Nicodemus.
5. Jesus’ half-brother, James, became a Christian after the Resurrection.
(1 Corinthians 15: 7)
As seen in John 7, James did not understand what Jesus was doing, nor did he believe in what He was doing. However, once Jesus revealed Himself as resurrected to His brother, James started to devote his life to sharing the Gospel. Throughout the Bible, James is mentioned with growing participation and status within the Church. This holds as a great example of the power that the resurrection holds. James, who was skeptical of his brother, became a leader to the Church and a servant to the Lord.
6. There is meaning in the tomb being in a garden. (John 19: 41)
The most notable garden in the Bible is the garden of Eden; which is where death began as sin entered the world. Now we see Jesus’ tomb and place of resurrection in a garden as well. This symbolizes that what once was dead can now be brought back to life through Jesus.
7. The stone could have only been removed by the Lord or angels. (John 20:1)
Based on research, scholars believe that the stone must have weighed about 4,000 pounds. This would be incredibly hard for someone to move from the entrance. The verb removed is also important to note. Removed tells us that the rock was taken away and not rolled away. However, the stone was not taken away for Jesus to get out. It was removed so that others could see His great power and that He was no longer in the tomb.
8. John beat Peter in a race to the tomb. (John 20: 3-10)
He makes sure to tell us this in his accounts of the resurrection! In fact, he mentions it three times within these verses. Some believe that this is because the disciples wanted people to know that they were at the tomb together, and therefore one could not have messed with the tomb without the other one seeing. Others find value in that this is one of those times that we get to see the personalities behind the characters in the Bible. They were real people, who had real struggles; and maybe for John, that struggle was pride. However, it is also mentioned that John waited for Peter to first go inside the tomb, which some say was meant to show respect to his elder. Whatever the case, it is clear that both these men were excited to see that Jesus had risen, as He said He would.
9. The Resurrection was prophesied. (Psalm 22:16, Isaiah 53)
Remember how I said Jesus told us that He would rise? Not only did He tell us, but it was predicted in the Old Testament as well. We are told that the Lord’s suffering servant will act as a sacrifice that will bring righteousness to us. In Psalm 22, David says that evil man encircles him and pierce his hands and his feet, which is exactly what happens to Jesus.
10. During the Resurrection, others rose from their grave as well. (Matthew 27: 50-54)
Now, I may have only been a Christian for a year and a half, but I still cannot believe that I had not heard this before. In Matthew, we are told that the bodies of deceased believers rose from the dead. Although this is only briefly mentioned in the Bible, there is a lot of deeper meaning within this. This is another action that shows that those who belong to the Lord will change the meaning of death. Instead of being reduced to stay in our death, he allows us to escape it and find freedom in claiming Him as our Savior.
Lord, I thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross for us. Jesus, You have brought us out of our death and into life. I pray that we are able to truly recognize this and appreciate it. I pray that we are filled with the passion to spread this good news to those who do not know You. We love You so much, Jesus. Amen.
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