April 21, 2014
DID JESUS REALLY RISE FROM THE DEAD AND SHOW HE HAD AUTHORITY OVER THE GRAVE?
In Mark 15 we find that once Pilate was assured by the centurion that Jesus really was dead, he gave Joseph of Arimathea permission to take the body down for burial. After the body was laid in the tomb, a stone was rolled over the entrance to the tomb. The priests and Pharisees came to Pilate and, afraid that Jesus would indeed rise from the grave as He said, requested a guard be set and Pilate's seal be placed over it. And so it was done.
Yet, in spite of all their precautions, on the third day He arose from the grave, proving that he had authority over death.
Then for forty days he walked among them and appeared to many before he ascended to the Father in heaven.
The Bible says in Mark 16:9 that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene out of whom he had cast seven devils.
Later that day, in Matthew 28:9 we find Jesus appearing to the other women who were going to tell the disciples.
Still on that first Easter Sunday, Mark 16:12 tells us Jesus appeared to Cleopas and his traveling companion on the road to Emmaus. They went and told the disciples.
That evening in Luke 24:36 Jesus appeared to the disciples, but Thomas was not present.
In John 20:26, eight days later, Jesus appeared to the disciples again, and this time doubting Thomas was present.
In John 21 Jesus appears to seven disciples and performs a miracle with a huge draught of fish.
In 1 Cornthians 15:6 Jesus appeared to more than 500 people and then in verse 7, he was seen of his brother James and all the disciples.
Luke 24, Acts 1, Mark 16, Luke 24, Jesus appears numerous times to them before his glorious ascension.
There was overwhelming evidence that Jesus whom they crucified and was certified dead by the authorities, was now not dead at all, but was very much alive.
Christ gave His disciples the command that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem Luke 24:47.