Jesus Is Alive!
It must have been an awful weekend for the apostles and followers of Jesus; their leaders got arrested on Thursday evening and then nailed to a cross on Friday afternoon. This was a horrifying weekend for followers of Jesus. Their hopes and dreams were shattered by a cross. Jesus was the one they thought would restore the kingdom to Israel, their expected messiah. Jesus had told his followers that they would fall away because of him. “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered” (Matt. 26:31; Mk.14:27; Zech.13:7). This is exactly what happened when Jesus was apprehended; his followers abandoned him. Fear and insecurity had gripped them. They chose to hide and they would lock the doors for they were afraid, they would be hunted down for being followers of Jesus. The death of Jesus was a shocker to them; they didn’t expect it nor did they want it. The news of the resurrection was also a shocker for Jesus’s followers. They didn’t expect Jesus to rise from the dead either. If they had expected it, they would have gone home thinking “ok Jesus, see you in three days.” They had forgotten Jesus’s words to them about the resurrection. Every time Jesus spoke of his death, he also emphasized raising up on the third day.
The four gospels tell us the story of the resurrection, and they all have women as the first witnesses of the Empty tomb. These women had gone to the tomb also expecting to find a dead body. They went to anoint the body with spices they had prepared. However, the unexpected happened! They didn’t find the body there.
The women became the first witnessed of the empty tomb; If the writers of the gospel were to make up or invent the resurrection as some people tend to believe; then they had not placed women at the sight of the empty tomb or as the first witnesses of the empty tomb because in the first century, women’s testimony was regarded untrustworthy, unreliable. The writers of the gospels have women as the first witnesses because this is truly what happened.
(v.4) the women were confused as to why Jesus wasn’t there.
-The women’s thoughts as they were heading to the tomb was who was going to remove the large stone at the entrance of the tomb. When they got there, the stone had been rolled away, which would make their job easier, now let’s go in to find the body, but the body wasn’t there. (v.4) they wondered why the body wasn’t there.
Angels announced the resurrection. Angels announced his birth.
Two angels appeared and told them the reason the tomb was empty.
“Why do you seek the living One among the dead?”
He is not here, he has risen.
The resurrection verifies Jesus’ identity.(7-8)
Jesus openly spoke of the resurrection to his disciples. He told them he would rise from the dead. Remember what he told you when he was in Galilee? (v7)// Matt.16:21 “The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again”
But they missed it; the cross had shattered their hopes, their political dreams, and their future. They had not pay attention to the words of Jesus. They had used selective hearing with Jesus. They only heard part or what they wanted to hear. The disciples’ agenda distracted them from Jesus teaching about the resurrection. They had forgotten what Jesus talked about.
The women remembered what Jesus had talked about.(v.8)
Then they went back to share the greatest news with the apostles. The news that Jesus is alive.
The apostles didn’t believe the women’s testimony because they had forgotten Jesus’ words.
(v.11) their words seemed like nonsense, it didn’t make sense.
Peter went to the tomb and saw the strips of linen lying by themselves. He didn’t know what to make of what he saw. He didn’t expect the resurrection!
The apostles could not have made up the resurrection since they didn’t expect or believed when the women told them. The apostles could have not invented the resurrection since they were hiding from the authority for fear. Why would you want to fabricate something that would cost you your very life?
What changed for the apostles? What transformed these coward apostles?
The risen Jesus. They saw Jesus alive.
Jesus began to appear to his followers, he let his followers see him.
Two disciples were traveling and Jesus appeared to them on the road. Luke 24:13-33
The things about Jesus, a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God.
Jesus appeared to the eleven apostles (Luke 24:36-48)
The resurrection of Jesus turned coward disciples into brave witnesses.
They told the Jewish authorities, we cannot stop telling you what we have seen and heard. (Acts 2:22-24; 31-32; Acts 4:10-12) If the resurrection didn’t happen, it would have been easy for the religious leaders to put an end to the preaching of the apostles; all they needed to do was to find the body of Jesus. However, they could not disprove the testimonies of the witnesses that saw Jesus alive.
The resurrection of Jesus ignited a fire in Jerusalem that affected the whole world and this fire is still going, burning. Christianity exists today because of the resurrection of Jesus.
The resurrection of Jesus the foundation for the Christian faith; without it there is no Christianity. (I Cor.15:13-20) The church was founded on this; if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead our preaching is useless, our faith is useless and we have no hope and still guilty of our sin and under the curse of God.
Our Lord has conquered death and this fact is the foundation of our faith and the assurance of our future glory.
Our Lord said: I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will live even if he dies. (John 11:25). Our God conquered death and promises us that death won’t be the final chapter of our lives. This is the hope we have because of Christ resurrection. Our Lord is alive and because he rose, he guarantees the future for those who are his. Hallelujah, what a Savior!