Easter - The Resurrection of JesusMatthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21, Acts 1
The Tomb is Empty!
Early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and several other women went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. When they arrived, they found the tomb had been opened already. When they went in, they did not find Jesus' body, and they wondered what had happened.
Suddenly, two angels in dazzling white clothes were there. The women were terrified, but the angels said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you that He would be turned over to sinful men, be crucified, and rise again on the third day!"
The women ran back to tell Jesus' apostles what they had seen. Peter and one other apostle went to the tomb to see for themselves. They looked in and saw the linen cloths that Jesus' body had been wrapped in but nothing else. Then they went home, amazed and confused.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
Jesus said, "Don't hold on to me, because I have not yet returned to the Father. But go to my disciples and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
Then Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord!", and she told them everything that had happened.
Jesus Talks with Two Disciples on the Road to EmmausLater that same Sunday, two of Jesus' disciples, Cleopas [KLEE uh pas] and another man, were walking along the road to a village called Emmaus [em MAY us], which was about seven miles (11 km) from Jerusalem. All day they had been talking and wondering about all the things that had happened.
As they came near the village of Emmaus, the two disciples said to Jesus, "Stay with us, because it is late and the day is now nearly over." So Jesus went in to stay with them. As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them. Suddenly they recognized Him as Jesus, and He vanished from their sight.
The two disciples quickly returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven apostles and some of Jesus' other followers gathered together. The apostles told them, "It's true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Peter." Then the two disciples told everything that had happened on the road to Emmaus.
Jesus Appears to the Apostles
The apostle Thomas was not with the others when Jesus appeared to them. So the others told him, "We have seen the Lord." But Thomas said, "Unless I see the nail marks in His hands, and put my finger in the nail holes and my hand in the wound in His side, I will not believe it."
A week later the apostles were again locked in the same room, and Thomas was with them. Jesus again came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then Jesus said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and look at my hands. Put your hand in my side. Don't doubt it any more. Believe!" All Thomas could say was, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen? Blessed are those who have not seen but have come to believe."
Jesus Ascends to HeavenJesus remained on earth for 40 days after He was resurrected from the dead on that Sunday morning (Acts 1:3). He appeared again to the apostles at the Sea of Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) and on a mountainside in Galilee. He also appeared to more than 500 others (1 Corinthians 15:6).
Jesus' parting words to His disciples were,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (NRSV, Matthew 28:18-20)When it was time for Jesus to return to heaven, He led His disciples out to a place near Bethany, a village on the slopes of the Mount of Olives about 2 miles (3 km) from Jerusalem. Jesus lifted up His hands and blessed them. Then He ascended to heaven, and the disciples lost sight of Him in a cloud.