After Jesus was crucified, he was hastily buried as the clock was ticking moving toward the Jewish Sabbath. No work could be done.
So they had to wait. And wait. And wait.
It must have seemed like an eternity that long Saturday. On Sunday they were up and at it at the crack of dawn. When they got to the tomb, they couldn’t find Jesus body. And they were puzzled. I know I would have been as well. Probably more than puzzled.
But they moved on from being puzzled into belief. The angels explained it all to them.
They ask a stunning question. “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery?” Why indeed!
Are we looking for Jesus, the Living One? If so, we will find Him.
Jesus wasn’t there but raised up from the dead. And they remembered Jesus’ words.
Belief. Faith. Joy.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground. “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. “He is not here, but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’ And they remembered his words. | Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Lk 24:1–8). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
I believe that Jesus, the anointed Messiah of God, was crucified in my place, to pay my penalty for missing God’s goal.
I believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead after 3 days into an incorruptible body.
We have direct evidence presented by eyewitnesses. Proof of the resurrection of Jesus is found in the great amount of weight the apostles gave to Jesus’ resurrection. A key passage on the Messiah’s resurrection is 1 Corinthians 15. In this chapter, the apostle Paul explains why it is crucial to understand and believe in the Messiah’s resurrection.
According to Paul, the resurrection is important for the following reasons:
- If the Messiah was not raised from the dead, believers will not be either (1 Corinthians 15:12-15).
- If the Messiah was not raised from the dead, His sacrifice for sin was not sufficient (1 Corinthians 15:16-19).
Jesus’ resurrection proved that His death was accepted by God as the atonement for our sins. If He had simply died and stayed dead, that would indicate His sacrifice was not sufficient. As a result, believers would not be forgiven for their sins, and they would remain dead after they die. There would be no such thing as eternal life.
“But now the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20 NAS).
Consider the life of the apostle Paul. What changed him from being a persecutor of the church into an apostle for the church? It was when the risen the Messiah appeared to him on the road to Damascus.
Another convincing proof is the empty tomb. If the Messiah were not raised, then where is His body? The disciples and others saw the tomb where He was buried. When they returned, His body was not there. Angels declared that He had been raised from the dead as He had promised.
The best evidence of His resurrection is the many people He appeared to afterward. This is all well documented and attested to by the witnesses.
- Acts 1:3 —To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3–8 —For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that the Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
- Luke 24:36–43 —While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be to you.” But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them.
- John 20:26–28 —After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Master and my God!”