After Jesus was crucified, Joseph of Arimathea had Christ’s body placed in his own tomb. A large stone covered the entrance and soldiers guarded the sealed tomb. On the third day, a Sunday, several women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and Salome are all mentioned in the gospel accounts) went to the tomb at dawn to anoint the body of Jesus.
A violent earthquake took place as an angel from heaven rolled back the stone. The guards shook in fear as the angel, dressed in bright white, sat upon the stone. The angel announced to the women that Jesus who was crucified was no longer in the tomb, “He is risen, just as he said.” Then he instructed the women to inspect the tomb and see for themselves. Next he told them to go inform the disciples.
With a mixture of fear and joy they ran to obey the angel’s command, but suddenly Jesus met them on their way. They fell at his feet and worshiped him. Jesus then said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see me.”
When the guards reported what had happened to the chief priests, they bribed the soldiers with a large sum of money, telling them to lie and say that the disciples had stolen the body in the night.
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the women near the tomb and later at least twice to the disciples while they were gathered at a house in prayer. He visited two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus and he also appeared at the Sea of Galilee while several of the disciples were fishing.
Points of Interest from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Story:
• There are at least 12 different appearances of Christ in the resurrection accounts, beginning with Mary and ending with Paul. They were physical, tangible experiences with Christ eating, speaking and allowing himself to be touched.
• Jesus’ resurrected body was different from his physical body. It was no longer subject to the same laws of nature. He could transcend locked doors, and yet he could still be touched and he could eat.
• Before Jesus ascended into heaven he gave the Great Commission, telling his followers to go and make disciples of all nations.
• The stone was not rolled away from the tomb so Jesus could get out. He was able to walk through walls (John 20:19) in his resurrected body. The stone was rolled away so that everyone could see that he was risen.
Question for Reflection About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ::
When Jesus appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they didn’t recognize him (Luke 24:13-33). They even talked in great length about Jesus, but they didn’t know they were in his very presence. Has Jesus, the resurrected Savior visited you, but you didn’t recognize him?