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Holy Week – Day 9

  |   Words of Grace

Yesterday (Saturday) was a day of silence, grief, or reflection because – as far as the frightened disciples were concerned – their Messiah was dead and buried, and who knew what could possibly happen to them?  But as the songs and sermons say, “It’s Friday (or Saturday), but Sunday’s coming!”  Here are the events of the Grand and Glorious Resurrection Morning!  Again, please remember that the order of some of these events may be disputed because each Gospel writer is telling the story from his perspective.  The order may be debatable, but the Truth of the Resurrection is True – so True that this whole world has never been the same!

1. Christ rises from the dead very early Sunday morning. A violent earthquake and an angel rolling away the stone and sitting upon it accompany this event. The guards are traumatized because they have seen this angel, and they freeze, like frozen dead men (Matthew 28:2-4).

2.   Mary Magdalene and another Mary either walk to the tomb together or they had planned to meet there. When she (or they) arrives, the stone has been rolled away. (The guards are gone by now.) She returns to find Peter and John and tells them that someone has moved Jesus’ body (John 20:1-2; Matthew 28:1).

3.  Another group of women were scheduled to meet the two Marys’ at the tomb. They have acquired spices to complete the burial process, which had been hurried. They are concerned about finding some men to help roll the stone away, since it was large and needed to be rolled against gravity. To their surprise, these women see two angels, only one of which speaks, telling them that Jesus has been raised from the dead. The women are scared to death and leave [seeing angels has this effect] (Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8; Mathew 28:5-8).

4.   Peter and John arrive after being summoned by Mary Magdalene, who apparently follows them there. John looks into the tomb, but Peter goes inside. All he finds are the burial clothes. They return, confused, but Mary Magdalene apparently stays at the tomb to grieve that someone has removed Jesus’ body (Luke 24:12; John 20:3-10).

5.   Jesus makes His first appearance to Mary Magdalene, after Peter and John have left. At first she supposes Him to be the gardener, but she is then overjoyed to realize that it is the Lord (John 20L11-17; Mark 16:9).

6.   Jesus then appears to these other women who had left before Peter and John had arrived. These are the women who saw the angels. Jesus tells them to communicate that the disciples were to prepare to travel to Galilee (Matthew 28:9-10).

7.   The women, joined by Mary Magdalene, report their meeting with Jesus to the disciples, but they write it off as nonsense (Mark 16:10-11; Luke 24:9-11; John 20:18).

8.   The Roman guards report what they had witnessed to the chief priests. They were bribed to say that someone stole the body of Jesus while they were asleep. The priests promised the soldiers protection from military discipline through their clout (Matthew 28:11-15).

9.   Jesus appears to Cleopas and his friend (Luke 24:13-22; Mark 16:12-13). This is on the afternoon of that first Easter Sunday as these two disciples were traveling toward Emmaus.

10. These two disciples make a report to the eleven apostles that evening (Mark 16:13; Luke 16:13; Luke 24:33-35).

11. He appeared to the ten apostles, (Mark 16:14, Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25), either while Cleopas and his friend were still there or afterward. The eleven apostles are discussing this claim during the evening of that same Easter day. They had the doors locked, fearful that the Jews might plot against them and arrest them.

12. Jesus appears to the ten apostles (Thomas is absent), but they presume He is a ghost. He encourages them to look at His hands, feet, and side. He insists that they touch them. But this still does not convince the apostles that He is really physically raised from the dead. He eats with them, and the reality of the resurrection registers with them. They are overjoyed. Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit upon them (John 20:19).

The story certainly doesn’t end there.  There will be more….what are called the “post-resurrection appearances of Christ”.

Today is the Day of New Life!  Please consider being in a House of Worship that preaches God’s Word, specifically the message of ‘Christ and Christ crucified’.

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!