By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was arrested, falsely accused, Judas betrayed him.
“When Morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death, and they bound him and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor.” (Matthew 27:1,2)
The Roman ruler, Pontius Pilate, knew that Jesus was innocent, yet condemned him to death, to please his accusers. His disciples were dismayed by his arrest, condemnation, and crucifixion. They were crushed. The one who was their life and their hope was dead! What could they do, but mourn?
Jesus died as a consequence of the abuse that he endured, and the crucifixion nailing him to a cross, and letting him hang there until he died.
“And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.” (Mark 15:27)
“And when [Pilate] learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.” (Mark15:45)
“but when [the soldiers] came to Jesus and saw the he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” (John 19:13)
“And entering the tomb [the women] saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed, you seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here. See the place where they laid him.’” (Mark 16:6)
Joseph of Arimathea secured the body of Jesus from Pilate, and with the assistance of Nicodemus buried him in his own tomb. Those who believed in him wept, yet I think that they waited to see what God would do. The pharisees came to Pilate and secured a military guard at the tomb. They remembered that he had said that he would rise from the dead.
The Appearances of the risen Jesus
On the third day from his crucifixion, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb intending to further prepare his body.
“An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat upon it.” (Matthew 28:2)
The angel told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead. They ran to tell his disciples.
“And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.” Mary Magdalen went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” and she told them that he had said these things to her.” (John 20:18)
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews Jesus came and stood among them, and said to them ‘Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)
“To them he presented himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)
The church was built on the teachings of Jesus, upon his miracles, and upon his resurrection. In his suffering on the cross, he paid the penalty for all of our sins. Without the resurrection, there would be no church, no salvation, and no hope. Let us rejoice at the resurrection of our Savior!