Evidence of The Resurrection

Appearances of Christ after His Resurrection

The victory of the Resurrection is presented in the gospels of the New Testament. Namely, the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, healed the sick, raised the dead and preached the good news. His enemies though judged him and crucified Him. But the Lord Jesus would not be kept in the grave!

Three days later He rose from the dead!

According to Mark 16:9, Mary Magdalene was the first to actually see Jesus after His death and magnificent resurrection.

When she found out that the body of Christ was missing, she wanted to recover it. Jesus had a special place in his heart for Mary Magdalene as He had changed her life completely and she truly loved Him in return. 

When Peter and John visited the empty tomb after the resurrection, Mary Magdalene apparently waited outside. After the men had left, she looked into the tomb and saw two angels. When asked why she was crying, she replied that she was looking for her Lord. The angels asked her why she sought the living among the dead.

She later saw Jesus Himself but did not recognize Him immediately. However, she knew him when he spoke her name. This is according to John 10:4 which says: “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice”.

She immediately went and told the disciples she had seen the Lord. With great joy she exclaimed, "He’s alive! I’ve seen Him!”. Even though the disciples doubted her testimony, Mary Magdalene knew without a doubt that she had seen the Lord.

The resurrected Lord also had a meeting with Peter after the resurrection as recorded in Luke 24:34.

Although we are not given any information on this meeting, Mark 16:7 makes a special mention of Peter. You see, Peter had miserably failed in his service, but Jesus forgave him. Jesus went to him privately and restored him.

In Luke 24:13 is a record of an encounter that happened on the day of the resurrection. Two disciples were talking together of all the events of the past three days. Cleopas was among them. As they were talking, Jesus secretly joined them. During their walk, Jesus witnessed to them concerning the scripture and the Messiah. When they arrived at their destination, Jesus said he would go on His way. But they pressed Him to stay and eat. When He broke bread, His identity was revealed.

As soon as they recognized Him, He vanished. In His resurrection body, He could appear or disappear instantly. These men knew that they had seen Jesus alive and indeed they had!

The Burial of Christ

It was getting toward the end of the day on which Jesus was crucified. Now what was to be done with His body? As a crucified criminal He would not be entitled to an honorable burial.

But at this point, two rich and influential men stepped out of the shadows and made a public stand for Jesus.

One of them, Joseph of Arimathea, was a wealthy and respected leader among the Jews. He was known for his fair dealings and good character. This honorable man was waiting for the kingdom of God. Although a religious leader himself, Joseph had not agreed with the council's decision to crucify Jesus.

After it was certain that Jesus had died on the cross, Joseph went to Pilate and begged that he be given the body of Jesus, and the governor allowed him to take the corpse.

Another secret disciple joined Joseph that late afternoon and they buried Jesus together. This formerly timid follower was Nicodemus, who was also a religious leader. He had secretly interviewed Jesus at night -- probably so the other religious leaders wouldn't find out about it.

He brought with him about a 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes purchased with his own funds. The two men took the body of Jesus down from the cross and wrapped it in a linen cloth -- winding it round and round with the mixture of myrrh and spices according to the Jewish burial customs of that day.

Then Joseph and Nicodemus placed the body of Jesus in Joseph's own tomb which had been dug out of a rock near a garden. This was a new grave not far from where Jesus had been crucified.

Joseph rolled a large stone in front of the cave and then the two companions left.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus have gone down in history as true friends of Jesus of Nazareth. They risked their reputations to give a proper Jewish burial to a supposed common criminal.

There is often a high price for taking a public stand for Jesus today as well. Those who are truly redeemed will pay the price by God's grace. They will never regret it -- just as I'm sure Joseph and Nicodemus never regretted their public stand either.