Message of Resurrection must be told
Published 7:21 am Friday, April 21, 2006
Jesus Christ was crucified and buried in a borrowed tomb.
It appeared Jesus' earthly ministry was over. He had spent three years training His most trusted followers. He ministered publicly, teaching and preaching of the Kingdom of God.
The crucifixion scattered and confused the followers of Christ. It seemed nobody remembered the promise of Jesus in Matthew, chapter 16, verse 21, “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Nobody went to the tomb expecting it to be empty; they went to complete the preparations for burial.
God raised Jesus from the dead, and now Jesus would convince His followers that the resurrection was fact.
God the Father gave Jesus forty days on earth after the resurrection. Our approach would be that Jesus would march right in to the priests, the scribes, and the high priest, and show Himself alive to the ones who least believed in who He was. We would also have Him stop by and see Herod and Pilate, but Jesus made no broad public appearances. He showed Himself to a few people who would then have the mission to make His resurrection known to the world.
The resurrected Christ was like most of us are after an extremely difficult time has passed. There is great relief that the mission is over, and you feel relaxed until the next thing comes along.
On resurrection morning, some of the women who followed Jesus made their way to the tomb. An angel was there keeping vigil. When the women arrived, He told them, “He is not here; for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him” (Matthew 28:6-7).
The women left to do as the angel said, but as they went, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Rejoice!” (Matthew 28:9). This was not in the script the angel had declared. The resurrected Christ has such zeal and desire to make Himself known that He could not wait for Galilee. He had to make the message known Himself. The women grabbed His feet and worshipped Him, but He sent them on their way to tell the disciples (Matthew 28:9-10).
The planned meeting was in Galilee, several hours away. Jesus in His resurrection body was no longer limited by time and space. He could appear and disappear and travel instantaneously. While the women were going to tell the disciples, Jesus joined two disciples as they walked to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32). Jesus talked with them and explained the Scriptures. Eventually He made Himself known to them.
Jesus had the best news possible and He could not wait to tell His chosen followers. He appeared to them in the room where they were hiding (Luke 24:36). The disciples reacted in fear and disbelief. Jesus was gentle in his rebuke and told them to touch Him and handle Him, and be assured that it was Him (Luke 24:39-40). He continued with them to convince them of His resurrection. Eventually He opened their understanding (Luke 24:45).
Thomas was not there to see Jesus on this first encounter. When the disciples told Thomas what they had seen, he declared that he would not believe until he had seen and touched Jesus for himself. Jesus went to the trouble to come to Thomas and allow him to see and touch the nail prints and the spear wound in His side. Jesus said, “Do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27).
The message of the resurrected Christ is the only truth that sets people free (1 Corinthians 15:17). Jesus said of Himself in Revelation, chapter 1, verse 18, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
Jesus Christ is alive; He is risen from the dead! When we put our faith in Him and His finished work, we join Him in victory over sin, death, and the grave.