The Resurrection of Jesus

The Resurrection of Jesus

And, the Effect on His Followers

© 2023 C. O. Bishop

Matthew 27:57-28:10; Mark 15:42-16:12; Luke 23:50-24:37; John 20:1-18;


We have already read about the crucifixion and the death of the Lord. As many of you know, I have a strong tendency to “take apart the machine, and label the parts” as opposed to showing the use of the machine…and what the machine can do.

Last week we talked about all the facts of the crucifixion. We deliberately avoided the tendency to sensationalize all the physical and emotional effects of the crucifixion. I was tempted to do the same with the Resurrection, but I realized two things:

  1. It is much more difficult to lay out the exact chronological order of the historical facts of the Resurrection.
  2. The Effects of the Resurrection, because of the Facts of the Resurrection are where we need to focus our attention, today.

The Facts of the Resurrection:

In brief, the facts are that:

  • After Jesus died, two men, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, asked Pilate’s leave to take away and bury Jesus’s body. Pilate was amazed that Jesus was already dead. He asked the Centurion to verify, and the answer was “Yes,” that Jesus had died, before the soldiers broke the legs of the other crucified men. (They did so to make them die quickly: the Jews did not want the screams of the dying men to spoil their holiday services!)
  • Joseph and Nicodemus wrapped Jesus in fine linen cloth, saturated with Myrrh and Aloe resins. These resins smelled good, and with the cloth, hardened into a shell. They were short on time, so did not complete the process. The Passover Sabbath was about to begin.
  • Not all Sabbaths are on Saturday. This one was a Thursday, beginning at sundown Wednesday night. But there was another Sabbath on Saturday, as usual, so it was an “inconvenient” time to deal with a dead body.
  • The Priests got permission from Pilate to seal the tomb. They set a guard of Roman Soldiers to keep anyone from stealing the body and claiming it had been “resurrected.”
  • Three nights and three days later, (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday “nights;” Thursday, Friday and Saturday “days,”…a total of three days and three nights, fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus) Some women came to the tomb before daylight. (This was still during Saturday night) And, they found that the tomb was already empty!
  • Angels involved themselves at several levels. It is difficult to sort out, because there were at least two angels involved, but each of the accounts speaks from a different perspective. John’s account focused only on Mary Magdalene’s experience, and only one angel: the other gospels spell out that there were other women involved, and at least two angels. The four Gospel accounts do not disagree, but they interweave to cover the whole account.

The Effects of the Resurrection:

The immediate effects of the Resurrection were as follows:

  • The Roman Soldiers initially passed out at the sight of the Angel who rolled the stone away and sat on it. Then they apparently fled. (They did not see that the tomb was already empty…empty before the angel rolled the Stone away.)
  • The women, including Mary, were astounded to find the body of Jesus had gone missing.
  • Mary, apparently the youngest, ran back to where the apostles were hiding, and she told them that “someone has taken the Lord’s body away, and we don’t know where it is.”
  • The other women were still there, though, and an angel appeared to them, saying that Jesus was alive, and that they should go tell His disciples to meet Him in Galilee.
  • The women headed back to tell the story, but Jesus met them on the road, in person, and told them not to fear, but to tell His disciples to meet Him in Galilee.
  • Meanwhile, two of Jesus’s disciples, Cleopas and another, had headed down to Emmaus, still not knowing that Jesus was alive.
  • And, Peter and John had run to the tomb, and found that the tomb was truly empty, just as Mary said. John stood outside, looking in. Peter barged right in, and got a closer look at the facts: the linen cloth that had covered Jesus’s face was folded and set aside. The rest of the graveclothes were undisturbed, but empty. John believed the Lord was alive, but Peter was still in doubt.
  • Mary had also gone back to the empty tomb, evidently arriving after the two men. But after they had left, she stayed there. She had been devastated by the loss of the Lord, and especially now, by the apparent desecration of His tomb. She was standing there crying when she heard a voice saying, “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom sleekest thou?” She thought it was the groundskeeper, and she said, “Sir, if you have taken Him somewhere, tell me where you laid Him and I will take Him away.
  • Jesus then called her by name, “Mary!” and she spun around to see His face, saying “Rabboni!” It meant “My Master!” This was the closest relational title of endearment that a disciple could give to their teacher and master.
  • Jesus warned her not to cling to Him, as He had not yet ascended to the Father. He instructed her to go and tell the others that He was ascending, and she did so.
  • Jesus appeared to Peter, by himself, and dealt with him, restoring Peter’s peace.
  • Jesus appeared to the disciples on the way to Emmaus, and He taught them, and they ran back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples.
  • While they were relating their experience to the others in the upper room, Jesus appeared (late Sunday evening) to the eleven disciples there.
  • Jesus spent some time there, that evening, confirming their faith and establishing their security in the fact of the resurrection.
  • Over the next forty days, He taught the disciples and prepared them for His final exit from this world.
  • He ascended ten days before Pentecost and left them waiting for the arrival of the Holy Spirit.

The Effect on Us, as Believers, today:

Our faith cannot be in a personal experience of “seeing the resurrection.” No one but the Lord saw that happen. They all saw only the effects. We are called to place our faith in the fact of the Resurrection, and look to God to bring the full effect of the Resurrection to bear on our lives.

Paul says that if the Resurrection is not a fact, then “of all peoples, we are most to be pitied,” because it would mean that our faith was vain, and futile and that we are serving a dead man, who is powerless to save.

But the Resurrection is a fact, and we can see that fact in the transformed lives of the disciples. They went from being terrified, defeated men and women, hiding in fear that they would be crucified as well, to being fearless preachers of the Gospel, who rejoiced at the privilege of suffering for the sake of His Name. People don’t do that for something they know to be a lie! They did it because He had changed their lives as the Resurrected Lord, not just as a dead man whom they once loved and still desired to honor.

Down through History, millions have done the same, entrusting their eternal souls to the One who has the Power of Eternal Life. We who have believed His Promises have seen our own lives changed as well, to one degree or another. We hunger to know Him more closely and to see that change happening in increasing power, as He continues His work in us.

We can see in Romans 1:4 and in Ephesians 1:20 that the Resurrection was “God the Father’s final ‘Stamp of Approval,’” declaring that Jesus truly is the Savior He claimed to be. He truly is God in the Flesh: the One Chosen Sacrifice who takes away the Sin of the World.

The Effect on us, Personally

Because Jesus truly is Resurrected, we can look for and confidently expect His presence to be manifested in our daily lives. We engage with Him on a personal level, not just theoretically, or in our imaginations. He wants us to deal with Him as personally as Mary Magdalene did, there in the Garden of the Tomb. He wants us to be as thrilled by His presence as were the disciples on the road to Emmaus, who, when they finally recognized Him, ran the seven miles uphill, back to Jerusalem, to tell the other disciples.

(Did you get that? They were thrilled by the Resurrection, and “Ran to Tell!”)  You see, that is to be our response, as well. We need to seek His face until He becomes all that thrills our souls, and our strongest desire is to go tell that news to anyone who will listen!

Because He is Risen, we have Eternal Life guaranteed to us. He has declared us righteous on the basis of His completed work at the Cross, and our faith in Him. He has promised that we will be with Him and like Him throughout eternity.

In Ephesians 2:6, He says that we have already been resurrected with Jesus. He says that we are already seated in the throne with Him. (It is difficult to grasp, but there it is!) He says that He has already given to us Eternal Life and that we “Shall Never Perish!”

All of the “positional truths” in Ephesians 1:3-14 also became true of you, the day you placed your trust in Jesus’s Blood at the Cross. According to 1st Corinthians 12:13, you were placed in Him by the Holy Spirit: that positionin Him” means that all the “positional truths” now apply to you!

So, What ARE those “Positional truths?”

(Reading from Ephesians 1:3-14, we see at least fifteen of them!)

  1. God has already blessed you with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies, in Christ.
  2. You were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.
  3. You are holy and blameless before him, in His Love.
  4. You are predestined to be recognized as a full heir of God.
  5. You are predestined to fulfill the good pleasure of His will.
  6. You are predestined to be to the praise of the Glory of His Grace.
  7. You are already accepted in the beloved (Christ).
  8. You already have been redeemed, through His blood.
  9. You already have full forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace.
  10. God has already abundantly blessed you in His wisdom and prudence.
  11. He has made known unto you the mystery of His will…one piece at a time.
  12. Your inheritance in Him is secure.
  13. You will eternally be to His glory and praise.
  14. Your position in Him is sealed by the Holy Spirit.
  15. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the “down payment” (earnest) of the rest of the glorious inheritance promised to you. You are absolutely secure in Christ because He says so, and because the Holy Spirit is your guide, your guard, and your seal until the redemption of the purchased possession.

All of these truths apply to you as a believer, whether or not you are consciously aware of them at any given time, and whether or not you are even presently walking with Him! These truths are all applied to you because of your position in Christ.

And all of them are true, only because …He is Risen!

Lord Jesus, transform our lives by Your presence, by Your Holy Spirit, and by Your Written Word, applied to our lives. Make us the Men and Women of God you have called us to be. Fill us with the Joy of Your Resurrection, and lead us to walk with you in the newness of Life.

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