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About-Him.Com Devotional 04-15-2017
The Events on Resurrection SundayMatthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-14; Luke 24:1-48; John 20:1-31
From our Thoughts on the Life of Christ - Audio
Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
Pilate had granted the request of the enemies of Jesus to seal the tomb and to set extra guards so that the tomb could not be entered. All this was to no avail against the power of the supernatural. The earth began to shake and the angel of the Lord, whose countenance was like lightening and whose raiment was pure white gave the stone a little push and it rolled away. The guards were terrified with fright and did nothing to try and prevent the angel from fulfilling his assignment. That was probably in their best interest. I wonder if any of these guards were later Christian converts?
Jesus made five appearances on this Resurrection Sunday and five more in Galilee before His ascension. The events and order of appearances are hard to harmonize between the four gospel writers. This is not that they are contradictory, but that they do not all give a complete account. I believe that the gospel of John gives the clearest picture of the four.
John 20:1 ¶ The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
Mary Magdalene and the other women came early on Sunday morning to anoint the body of the Lord. They were probably ignorant of the tomb being sealed. It appears that Mary ran ahead of the group and saw that the stone was rolled back, she assumed that the body of the Lord had been taken away. She ran back and reported this to Peter and John. Peter and John had a foot race to the tomb with the younger John being the winner. Upon entry they saw that the tomb was empty but that the grave clothes were folded and laid out in an orderly fashion. This ruled out grave robbers. John states that although he was ignorant of the scripture concerning the Lord’s resurrection, he believed at that point. They both then departed to their homes.
Mary evidently returned to the tomb and upon entering she saw two angels. One of them spoke to her and said, “He is not here, He is risen just like He said. Go tell His disciples and Peter. He’ll meet you in Galilee.” Mary turned and saw a figure whom she thought was the gardener. She inquired as to where the Lord’s body had been taken. Evidently, the words of the angel were slow to sink in. Jesus called her by name and all doubt and fear was removed from her mind. As she and the others ran back to tell the disciples, Jesus met them on the way, and they worshiped Him there. Mary then reported to the disciples that she had indeed seen the Lord.
Mark 16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
Luke gives us an amplified account of Jesus appearing to two downhearted disciples who were walking on the road to Emmaus. Jesus listened to them and then opened the scriptures to them of things concerning Himself. They invited Him in to eat and their eyes were opened as He began to break bread. They beat a hasty retreat for an eight mile trek to Jerusalem to report to the disciples. They reported to the eleven that the Lord is risen and has appeared to Peter. I find it odd that Peter is in the group and as yet has said nothing to the others. Paul also mentions the appearance of Jesus to Peter, but I can’t find any other reference to it in scripture.
As they were speaking, Jesus entered the room, through the locked door, no less. The group was terrified, but Jesus showed them His hands and feet. They were overjoyed and didn’t know just what to believe. Jesus asked for something to eat. As He was eating, He gave instruction as to just what it all meant.
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Thomas was absent at this appearance. Later when he was told of it he stated that He would not believe unless he could put his hands into the wounds on the Lord’s hands and feet. Eight days later Thomas got his opportunity. He could only exclaim, “My Lord and My God!”
Conclusion and Application:
The resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith. As Paul said, If Christ be not risen Our preaching and our faith is in vain, we are still in our sins.
In his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell pointed out that if all the eyewitnesses of the resurrection were to testify, a jury could reach no other conclusion than that it was indeed fact. Originally Mr. McDowell had started out to disprove the resurrection. When he examined the record and the fact that the apostles who were radically changed after this event, all went to their deaths proclaiming the gospel. In a few short years, they turned the world upside down.
The resurrection being proven validates all the other claim of Jesus such as His Deity and His second coming.
In his life, Christ is an example, showing us how to live; in His death, He is a sacrifice, satisfying for our sins; in His resurrection, a conqueror; in His ascension, a king; in His intercession, a High P riest. - Martin Luther
Song: My God, My King and My Redeemer
In his life, Christ is an example, showing us how to live; in his death, he is a sacrifice, satisfying for our sins; in his resurrection, a conqueror; in his ascension, a king; in his intercession, a high priest. - Martin Luther
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