Evidence of The Resurrection
 

Startling Evidence for The Resurrection

 

Mary Magdalene and several of her friends got out of bed very early on resurrection Sunday morning and hurried to the tomb where Jesus had been buried. But when she arrived, she discovered that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance to the tomb and that Jesus' body was missing!

Horrified, she quickly ran to tell the disciples that His body had been removed from the tomb.

As soon as they found out this distressing news, John and Peter ran to the tomb to see what in the world had happened. John was younger than Peter and so he easily outran him and arrived at the tomb first.

Mary Magdalene followed John and Peter to the tomb. Although the two disciples went home after viewing the tomb, Mary stood outside the burial cave crying. She walked up to the open entrance to the rock-hewn grave and looked inside. An amazing sight caught her attention! Two angels were sitting inside the tomb. 

"Why are you crying," they inquired.

"They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him."

Soon she would see Jesus alive, although at first she thought He was the gardener.  When He called her name, she recognized Him and worshiped Him with unspeakable joy!

John and Peter missed out on what Mary experienced of the angels and of meeting the risen Christ Himself that morning. That's because they left the scene of the tomb to return to be with the other disciples while Mary remained behind at the tomb. 

However, even though they missed out on what she experienced, John believed without even seeing Jesus or the angels either! This is what he saw that caused him to believe. When John and Peter went to the cave to check things out, John didn't go inside right away as Peter did. But John did see the linen burial cloths on the slab where Jesus' body had been placed.

Neither John nor Peter knew that Jesus must rise from the dead, even though Jesus had told His disciples that He would die and then be resurrected after three days.

What convinced John? Was it just the empty tomb itself? No, there was something strangely unusual about the grave cloth.

You see, great care had been taken to enbalm the body of the Lord Jesus. It was wrapped in linen cloths according to the Jewish custom of that day. The Jews used about 100 pounds of spices to apply to the deceased and then wrapped the burial cloth round and round the entire body. You've probably seen Egyptian mummies or pictures of them. The Jews practiced a similar custom when they enbalmed bodies.

The preparation of Jesus' body for burial was done properly. No shortcuts were taken. His body was placed in the tomb fully wrapped from head to toe. His head was wrapped separately with a napkin.  This preparation for burial was done with respect and love by two men who came forward to show their love. These men were Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They had not just thrown his body into the cave and left it, but had spent their own money to give Jesus -- who was considered a common criminal -- an honorable burial. In fact, the grave where Jesus was buried belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, who had purchased it for his own burial place.

On the morning of the resurrection, Peter and John were startled when they viewed those same grave clothes. For you see, the linen cloth that that had been glued together with all those spices had collapsed but was still intact. Wonder of wonders -- the body was gone!

Here was supernatural evidence of the resurrection right in the tomb!

Seeing the grave cloth caused John to believe. But Mary had viewed the same grave cloth but had not believed. Why wasn't Mary convinced by looking at the grave clothes as John had been? Apparently she didn't take the time to study them.

When Peter and John viewed the grave clothes, there seemed to be a distance from the napkin around Jesus's head and the rest of His torso. However, both the cloth wrapped around his body and the napkin around His head were intact and not unwrapped. You see -- the Lord rose right through the grave cloth wrappings and passed right through the wall in His resurrection body!

The evidence of the intact and not unwrapped grave clothes reveal that Jesus' body was not stolen by His friends or enemies either. That's because anyone wanting to take His body would have taken Him as he was -- enbalmed. They certainly wouldn't have unwrapped the grave cloth, taken the body out and then rewrapped the grave cloth. His enemies wouldn't have wanted to unwrap the burial cloth either. If someone -- either friend or enemy -- would have tried to steal the body of Jesus, the grave robber would have been in a rush since time would have been of the essence. So Jesus's body was not stolen by friends or enemies either. The Lord Jesus Christ rose supernaturally!

The grave cloths declared that Christ rose from the dead!

The early believers knew that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead! They were willing to preach to the world and die for their belief that Jesus had risen again!

What about you? Do you believe in Jesus Christ's resurrection! Do you believe that He is living? If you trust Him, you will be saved!


Resurrection & life in Christ can be yours too!




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.