Matthew 28:6 - He Is Risen ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Mat 28:6a (KJV) He is not here: for he is risen,
This simply stated fact is the basis of the Christian faith.
Christianity is the only religion whose founder has an empty tomb.
The best news the world ever had came from a graveyard. [Daily
Ten distinct resurrection appearances of Christ prior to His
ascension can be documented in Scripture (cf. also Mark 15:24; 1 Cor.
15:4). The order of those appearances follows: (1) to Mary Magdalene
near the tomb (John 20:11-18); (2) to the women returning from the
tomb (28:9, 10); (3) to Peter (Luke 24:34); (4) to the disciples
approaching Emmaus in the evening (Luke 24:13-32); (5) to all the disciples
except Thomas, who was absent (Luke 24:36-43); (6) to the disciples,
including Thomas, on Sunday night one week later (John 20:26-31); (7) to
seven disciples beside the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-25); (8) to more
than 500 people possibly on an appointed mountain in Galilee
(28:16-20; possibly parallels 1 Cor. 15:6); (9) to James the half brother
of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:7); and (10) to the apostles at the ascension
(Acts 1:3-11). [Believer's SB]
All four Gospels give an account of Jesus' resurrection (vv.
1-10; Mark 16:1-18; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-29). Moreover the rest of
the New Testament speaks with a tremendous sense of confidence about
an empty tomb and the triumph of Christ over death.
And no wonder. If true, the resurrection is the most amazing
news the world has ever heard. It means there is a God after all. It
means that Jesus really is Gods Son. It means that Christ is
alive--today--and we can know Him and be touched by His life and power. It means
that we need not fear death the way we once did; we are not destined
to oblivion but to spend eternity with God. It also means that
knowing God is of the utmost importance right now,...
These are important implications, so the question of whether
Jesus actually rose from the dead is crucial. At least four lines of
evidence indicate that He did:
(1) Jesus really was dead. Every source we have indicates that
Jesus was publicly executed before large crowds. He was certified as
dead by both a centurion in charge of the execution--a professional
whose job it was to determine that death had taken place--and by the
regional governor, Pilate, who sent to have the matter checked.
(2) The tomb was found empty. Jesus' enemies would have been the
least likely to have stolen the body. Even if they had, they would
certainly have produced it later to refute the claims of the disciples
that Jesus was alive. What about Jesus' friends? Unlikely, since the
accounts show them to have been very demoralized after the crucifixion.
Nor would they have willingly suffered persecution and death for
what they knew to be a lie.
(3) Jesus appeared after His death to many witnesses. In a
garden, on a road, in an upstairs room, by a lake--over a period of forty
(4) Countless people have encountered the living Jesus and been
changed by Him. The resurrection is not simply a matter of intellectual
curiosity or theological argument, but of personal experience. From the
first century to today there have been innumerable people who have
turned from being totally opposed or indifferent to Christianity to
being utterly convinced that it is true. What changed them? They met
the living Jesus. He has invited them to respond to Him in faith and
challenged them to live according to His way. Jesus is as alive now as He
was that first Easter morning. He still invites people to know Him
today. [Word In Life SB mod]
A variety of lines of evidence make it very clear that Jesus did
rise from the dead.
1. The Old Testament predicts Christ's resurrection.
Ps. 16:10 says, "You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will
you let your Holy One see decay."
2. Jesus predicted the Resurrection.
In Deut. 18 the OT establishes a principle: prophets are
authenticated as God's messengers when the things they predict actually--and
always--happen.... when prediction and fulfillment are linked, there is no
mistaking the hand of God. True prophets never erred. Thus the fact that
the Gospels record frequent statements by Jesus that He would be
killed by His enemies and would rise again after the third day is
significant. In fact, each time Christ spoke of His death He also promised
that He would rise again. Thus the Resurrection is a foretold event,
and a clear link between prediction and fulfillment is established,
giving added credibility to the resurrection report.
3. The reaction of Jesus' enemies.
Clearly, if the members of the Sanhedrin who had arranged
Christ's death could have disproved the Resurrection, they surely would
have. How? Simply produce the body! If the Sanhedrin really thought
the disciples had "stolen" Christ's corpse, as the rumor they
started suggests, they were fully empowered to arrest the disciples and
to force them to reveal where the body lay. Yet there was no
attempt to do anything of the sort! The utter failure of the Jewish
leaders to stifle the resurrection report--In view of the eagerness of
the Jewish leaders to squelch the Jesus movement, we must take their
failure to show the Resurrection to be a hoax as strong evidence that it
was not a hoax at all, but actually happened.
4. The transformation of the disciples.
One of the most powerful reasons for accepting the Resurrection
as a fact of history is the reaction of Jesus' disciples to
Christ's death and resurrection. Jesus' death stunned His followers,
dashed their hopes, and left them in despair...Then, suddenly, we see a
group of men who with great enthusiasm and conviction announce that
Christ is risen, and who dedicate their lives to bringing this message
to the world. If these men became rich or famous by proclaiming
Christ, as some who have invented religions, we might question their
motives. But instead of fame the apostles of Jesus gave up hope of
worldly wealth, suffered rejection and persecution, and despite the most
terrible hardships felt only delight in their privilege of serving Jesus.
It is simply unimaginable that this could have taken place unless
the disciple were totally convinced that Jesus was truly the Son of
God, and was truly risen from the dead.
5. The Gospels.
There is unmistakable evidence that the Gospels were written
within a few decades of the events the authors describe, well within
the lifetimes of those who claim to have been eyewitnesses. And well
within the lifetimes of others, both friend and foe, who would surely
have known if the reports of Jesus' activities were false! The notion
that the story of Jesus and His resurrection could be a fable is
absurd on its face, for without a basis in fact, the stories would have
been immediately contradicted within Palestine, no vital church would
have been formed. [Victor Bible Background Commentary mod]
On the first day of the first week God commanded the light to
shine out of darkness. On this day did He who is the Light of the
world, shine out of the darkness of the grave; [Matthew Henry
Jesus rose revealing for the first time God's power over death
and the certainty of eternal life. [Disciple SB]
Jesus only went into the tomb to prove He could come out.
The stone was not rolled away to allow Christ to come out; it
was rolled away to allow men to look in and see that He was gone!
[Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
Still God chooses the weak things of the world, to confound the
mighty, and puts the treasure, not only into earthen vessels, but here
into the weaker vessels; as the woman, being deceived by the
suggestions of an evil angel, was first in the transgression
<1 Tim. 2:14>,
so these women, being duly informed by the instructions of a good
angel, were first in the belief of the redemption from transgression by
Christ's resurrection, that that reproach of their sex might be rolled
away, by putting this in the balance against it, which is their
perpetual praise. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
There is something peculiarly fitting in that Mary Magdalene and
the other Mary should be the first to receive the news of the Risen
Lord and to encounter him. They had been there at the Cross; they had
been there when he was laid in the tomb; and now they were receiving
love's reward; they were the first to know the joy of the Resurrection.
We must admire these women for their devotion to Christ. God
rewarded their love by allowing them to see the empty tomb and hear the
message of the Resurrection from the angel. [Wiersbe Expository
All the Jewish authorities needed to do to disprove the
resurrection story was to produce the dead body of Jesus. Had they been able,
they would certainly have done so. [SDA Commentary]
If His body were stolen, it was stolen by either friends or
enemies. If by enemies, they would have produced it and silenced the
disciples. If by friends, they would not have willingly given their lives
for a lie, and His friends did not even believe that He would rise
from the dead! [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
The angel who announced the good news of the resurrection to the
women gave them four messages:
(1) Do not be afraid. The reality of the resurrection brings
joy, not fear. When you are afraid, remember the empty tomb.
(2) He is not here. Jesus is not dead and is not to be looked
for among the dead. He is alive, with his people.
(3) Come and see. The women could check the evidence
themselves. The tomb was empty then, and it is empty today. The resurrection
is a historical fact.
(4) Go quickly and tell. They were to spread the joy of the
resurrection. We too are to spread the great news about Jesus' resurrection.
[Life Application SB]
I will never forget the day that I looked into the tomb. It
changed my whole ministry. It came to me that my Savior was really
alive, that His work on the cross for sinners so satisfied divine
justice and divine character and divine righteousness, that I would
never see my sins again. God raised Him from the dead as a guarantee
to me personally that death has no more authority over the man in
Christ. It has been shorn of its power.... At the cross we see His
love, but in resurrection we see His power. We've been joined to a
risen Savior. That is why the apostles gave witness with such great
power in the book of Acts. Paul stood before Felix, before Festus,
before Agrippa, before the Sanhedrin, before the philosophers of
Athens, and before the corrupt Corinthians with only one message. He
preached the risen Christ.... The cross is a tragedy if there is no
resurrection Would to God that His people would continually rejoice that our
Savior is alive forevermore. John G. Mitchell [Time with God SB]
"The King is dead; long live the King."
With those words, many a monarch has passed from the scene, only
to be succeeded by another. But in the case of Christ, the King of
the Jews, the phrase takes on added significance.
Never before had a king died only to succeed himself to the
throne. But Christ did. Never before had a man been crucified and buried
only to emerge bodily three days later. But Christ did. Never before
had a man endured such human hatred in order to demonstrate such
divine love. But the Son of Man did.
No other event in human history could be so aptly described as
"old, yet ever new." No other single piece of good news has brought
more comfort, more encouragement, more peace to more people than the
ringing declaration, "He is risen!" From memory, or with the aid of a
hymnal, sing a few of the grand songs of Easter ("He Lives," "Christ the
Lord Is Risen Today," "He Arose"). You'll find that in October--or any
time of the year--Easter is only a song away when you know the One
whom death could not keep in the tomb! [Daily Walk Bible]
The power of the resurrection is the power of personal
regeneration.... Resurrection is not just a passport to heaven, but a power to
change us now. Paul says he wants to know Christ and the power of his
resurrection. The two are the same. To know Christ today is to come under the
influence of the same power that raised Him from the dead. What a cruel
thing an example is without the power to live it. Christ is the best
of all examples, but more than that, He can come within us and give
us His own Spirit to fulfill the example. The result is we actually
become like Him, we are able to do the things He did, and most of all,
we are able to love as He loved. Lloyd Ogilvie [Time with God SB]
The power that brought Jesus back to life is available to us to
bring our spiritually dead selves back to life. [Life Application SB]
When we are ready to make this world our home, and to say, It is
good to be here, let us remember our Lord Jesus is not here, he is
risen, and therefore let not our hearts be here, but let them rise too,
and seek the things that are above, (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
What Was In Jeremy's Egg?
Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic,
terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life.
Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible
and had sent him to St. Theresa's Elementary School.
At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly
unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated
with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting
noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot
of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the
time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher.
One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St.
Teresa's for a consultation. As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty
classroom, Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school.
It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have
learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and
that of the other students!"
Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband
spoke. "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind nearby.
It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out
of this school. We know he really likes it here."
Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow
outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She
wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child
had a terminal illness. But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class.
She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction.
Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why waste any more time
trying? As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. "Oh God,"
she said aloud, "here I am complaining when my problems are nothing
compared with that poor family! Please help me to be more
patient with Jeremy."
From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy's noises and
his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his
bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loudly
enough for the whole class to hear. The other children
snickered, and Doris' face turned red. She stammered, "Wh-Why, that's very
nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat."
Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming
of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to
emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the
children a large plastic egg. "Now," she said to them "I want you to take
this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that
shows new life. Do you understand?" "Yes, Miss Miller!" the children
responded enthusiastically - all except for Jeremy. He just listened
intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual
noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and
resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his
parents and explain the project to them.
That evening, Doris' kitchen sink stopped up. She called the
landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After
that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a
vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning
The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and
talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss
After they completed their Math lesson, it was time to open the
eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is
certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When plants peek through the
ground we know that spring is here" A small girl in the first row
waved her arms. "That's my egg, Miss Miller," she called out.
The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very
real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar changes and
grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes that is new life, too." Little
Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that one is mine."
Next Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that the
moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the
classroom. "My Daddy helped me!" he beamed.
Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty!
Surely it must be Jeremy's, she thought, and, of course, he did not
understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his
parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the
egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. "Miss
Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?" Flustered, Doris
replied, "but Jeremy - your egg is empty!" He looked into her eyes and
said softly, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty too!"
Time stopped. When she could speak again. Doris asked him," Do
you know why the tomb was empty?" "Oh yes!" Jeremy exclaimed. "Jesus
was killed and put in there. Then his Father raised him up!"
The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to
the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely
away. Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at
the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket,
all of them empty.
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be
weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31