The Resurrection of Jesus
The final miracle of each gospel account is the greatest one of them all: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John do not hesitate to tell us about that Sunday when Jesus, who was dead, had come back to life. Each gospel author ensures that the story of Jesus’ resurrection is recorded. To be sure, the Resurrection account forms the cornerstone of each gospel and without it the entire bible is a farce and Christianity ceases to exists. While each gospel offers minor variations in the details surrounding Jesus’ Resurrection, they all demonstrate three great truths:
1. Everyone was in a state of shock (Matt. 28:4-5; Mk. 16:5-8; Lk. 24:4-5; Jn. 20:11, 16-17)
The Resurrection of Jesus was so unfathomable to the human mind that everyone who either witnessed it or heard of it experienced a severe state of shock and amazement. This included everyone from the disciples all the way down to the guards who were unbelievers. This state of shock not only demonstrates that no one was expecting it to happen but that what they all experienced was indeed indicative of the reality of Jesus coming back to life!
2. Jesus’ Resurrection fulfilled the Scriptures
When Jesus rose from the dead, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene (Jn. 20:11-18) and then later to the other women (Matt. 28:9-10). There is a rather striking story told, however, when Jesus makes His appearance to Cleopas and the other disciple that was walking on the road on the way to Emmaus (Lk. 24:13). When Jesus met them, they did not know that it was Him. Jesus proceeded to tell them concerning Himself that the Resurrection had to take place in order to fulfill the OT scriptures.
This was especially important to recognize since it reiterated what Jesus was saying throughout the gospel stories. He prophesied that this would happen because it was God’s plan from the beginning. The Resurrection of Jesus was no coincidence at all, but the fulfillment of God’s plan to save man from His sin which was rooted in the OT (Psa. 16:10; Isa. 53:10).
3. Jesus’ Resurrection Illustrates the Power of God
The most important and perhaps most obvious point the resurrection of Jesus makes is that it could only occur because of the power of God. This is seen because of all the details that transcend human phenomena and human ability. This includes the earthquake (Matt. 28:2), the appearance of angels (Matt. 28:2-8; Mk. 16:5-7; Lk. 24:4-7; Jn. 20:11-13), the empty tomb (Mk 16:5; Lk. 24:2-3, 12; Jn. 20:4-7, 11-12) and Jesus’ supernatural bodily appearance (Jn. 20:19-20, 26-28).
Jesus’ resurrection being the ultimate miracle in all gospel accounts further demonstrates that all this took place to manifest the power of God and His power to save (Matt. 12:38-42). Miracles were signs pointing us to the reality that only God can do such things but more important only He can save us from our ultimate problem of sin through Jesus Christ (Tit. 3:3-8).
May we all look to the empty tomb to solidify and strengthen our faith in Jesus who was dead but now is alive!