Ultimate Victory of
First of all, let's look at the
ultimate victory of the Resurrection in the Gospels as
presented by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John under the inspiration
of the Holy Spirit.
According to the New Testament, Christ Jesus
was born of a virgin, lived a sinless live, healed the sick,
raised the dead and preached the good news. His enemies judged
, arrested and crucified Jesus Christ, but they could not keep
the Lord Jesus Christ in the grave!
Three days later He rose again from the
Appearance of Christ to Witnesses:
The first witnesses to see the
risen Christ was Mary Magdalene after Jesus' death and
It is touching that He
appeared to her after He had risen from the dead. You
see, she had found out that his body was missing and she wanted
to recover it. So she had really come seeking Jesus with
a heart full of love. Read more about this
encounter in Mark 16:9.
John 20:11 gives more
information about Mary Magdalene's encounter with the risen
Christ and the ultimate victory of the Resurrection.
These facts are
from a different perspective, but they're not
contradictory. She waited outside the tomb while
John and Peter went into it and then left. She looked into the
tomb and was startled by meeting two angels who asked her why
she was crying. She replied that she was looking for the Lord
Jesus. When others ran from the empty tomb, she stayed on. She
did see Jesus, but she thought He was a gardener. Jesus asked
her why she was crying.
Thinking He Was the gardener,
she asked where the body of Jesus was so she could take Him
away. Jesus spoke her name and immediately she realized who He
was. If this had been a ghostly visitor, she would have
recognized a demonic manifestation for she was well-versed in
demonic activity. But she knew it was her Lord when He spoke
her name. She immediately went and told the disciples she had
seen the Lord. With triumphant joy she exclaimed, "He’s
alive! I’ve seen Him!
Although the disciples
doubted her testimony, Mary Magdalene was convinced she had
seen the Lord!
She had experienced first hand Jesus'
ultimate victory of the Resurrection!
In Matthew 28:9 we discover that
Jesus revealed Himself alive to two or more other women as
well. Again we notice that the second appearance was to
women whose testimony wouldn't have counted in a court of law
of their day. So if this was merely a legend, why choose women
as the first witnesses?
Jesus met them and said,
“Rejoice!" They too saw the Lord. They came and held Him by the
feet -- the wounded, bleeding feet of Jesus. He was probably
bare-footed or wore sandals, so the scars on His feet would
have been visible. These women worshipped Him for
they knew He was their Lord! If Jesus wasn’t truly God, He
wouldn’t have accepted their worship.
The risen Savior is to be
In Luke 24:34 we see that the
resurrected Christ had a private meeting with Peter after
Jesus' death and resurrection.
We’re not told a thing about
this interview. In Mark 16:7 a special mention is made of Peter
because of his threefold denial of Christ. You see,
Peter had miserably failed the Lord, but Jesus brought him
back to Himself. The Lord went to him personally and
privately and restored him. During this precious
private interview, Peter confessed and was restored.
4. The two on the way to
In Luke 24:13 we read
of this encounter that happened on the day of the
resurrection. Two followers of Christ were talking
together of all the things that had happened. One of them
was named Cleopas. As they were talking, Jesus
Himself joined them. During their walk, Jesus open the
Bible to them from the beginning and shared what Scripture
prophesied about the Messiah. When they arrived at their
home, Jesus acted as though He would go on. But they
urged Him to eat with them. When He broke bread and
passed it to them, their eyes were opened and they knew that
this was Jesus alive!
As soon as they recognized who
He was, He vanished from their sight. That's because in His
resurrection body, He could be present or vanish
instantaneously. These followers were convinced that they
had really seen Jesus for according to Luke 24:33 -- they
rose up the same hour and returned to Jerusalem where they
found the eleven. With joy they share the great good news
and were informed -- the Lord is risen indeed and hath appeared
to Simon. The two on the way to Emmaus were absolutely
convinced that Jesus was alive!
5. Ten apostles (first
appearance to them).
Jesus appeared after his
resurrection to 10 of his disciples at one time. This is
recorded in John 20:19. Thomas was missing on
that occasion. This was the same day -- resurrection day
-- in the evening at the close of the day when the doors
were shut. The disciples were hiding because they were afraid
of what the Jewish leaders would do to them.
Suddenly Jesus appeared to them
and greeted them, “Peace be unto you." Then he showed them His
hands and His wounded side. Then were the disciples glad
when they saw their Lord.
6. Thomas (second
appearance to the apostles)
Thomas was not with the other
apostles when Jesus visited them. This meeting with Thomas
happened on a Sunday a week after Jesus had appeared to the
other 10 disciples. Thomas didn’t go to all the meetings
and therefore missed out. The ecstatic 10 men joyfully
shared with Thomas that Jesus was risen! You see, they were
absolutely convinced. There was no doubt about it.
"The other disciples therefore said unto him,
We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall
see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into
the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I
will not believe" (John 20:25).
Then saith He to Thomas, "Reach hither thy
finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and
thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but
Jesus knew all about Thomas’
doubts. He came back and appeared this time just for him. Now
it's doubting Thomas no more -- for he now believed. "My Lord
and my God," he exclaimed. He was a doubter for one week
By the way, this section of the
Bible proves the diety of Christ. If Jesus was not God, he
would not have let Thomas worship him.
appearance to the apostles
After Jesus had risen from the
dead, the apostles returned to fishing. They had
fished all night but caught nothing. Probably they were
dependent on fish for their food. Jesus appeared to them again
-- this time standing on the shore. He commanded them to cast
their net on the right side of the ship. Immediately it
filled up with 153 great fishes. John said, ‘It is the Lord.”
Then Jesus prepared breakfast for them and asked them to come
1 Cor. 15:5 was written about 20
years after the resurrection of Christ. This text states that
Christ was seen of Cephas (Peter) and then the 12 and then
about 500 brethren at once. Many were still alive 20 years
later. You could go and ask these 500 eyewitnesses about the
risen Christ whom they had seen.
If you have 500 eyewitnesses
to an event -- that’s profoundly credible and compelling
evidence! They were on hand for many years to
give eyewitness accounts of the evidence of the
resurrection of Christ!
I Cor.15:7 tells us that the
resurrected Christ was also seen by James. This apparently was
another personal interview. James was the head apostle in
the city of Jerusalem. He was the chairman who many looked to
for leadership. This disciple was convinced Jesus rose
from the dead.
10. The ascension of
Acts 1:10 recounts to us the
ascension of Christ. While they looked steadfastly toward
heaven, Jesus was taken up and covered by a cloud. Then two
angels appeared and told the crowd that Jesus would return the
same way He went into heaven.
Yes, this same Jesus -- with the
marks of Calvary -- will come again in the same way he ascended
Were the disciples convinced
Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven? Yes, they
tarried at Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on
high. They went to the upper room and started praying. Then the
Holy Spirit descended upon them and gave them power to preach
the great good news of the living Christ starting from
Jerusalem to the ends of the earth!
It's important to realize that
prayer is based on the evidence and witness of a living Jesus.
If He isn’t alive, prayer is worthless. But He is alive and He
is seated in glory to hear the prayers of His
We are to work with the
knowledge that Jesus is alive.
With great power the early
believers gave witness of the resurrection. If Jesus was still
dead, there would be no meaning to Christianity. But He is
living and He is coming again! Think about what the ultimate
victory of the Resurrection meant to these believers and what
it can mean to you too!
Jesus showed Himself to Paul on
the road to Damascus -- Acts 9:3-9 and Corinthians
12. Other appearances
after Jesus' death and resurrection:
These are implied in Acts 1:3.