He’s Risen! He’s Risen! the angels said; why seek the living, among the dead? To Heaven, Jesus has opened the Door! He’s Risen Forevermore!
We’re told in Luke 24 that Mary Magdalene, JoAnna (Mark 16:1 says Salome), and Mary the Mother of James (which would also be Jesus’ earthly mother) and others with them, had gone to the tomb where Jesus had been laid after the Crucifixion. In Jewish tradition, they were going to put spices on His body. In Mark 16:3, they were wondering how they would ever get to Him, as a large stone had covered the doorway. (all emphasis is mine)
Upon arrival, they discovered the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. Matthew, Mark and Luke all say there were angelic beings there: one in Matthew, one in Mark and two in Luke. How many there were does not change the circumstances, as all of them told the women Jesus was not there, but had risen just as He said He would.
People will say that, because of inconsistencies in the reported events, the message of the resurrection is tainted. The most logical explanation is: four different persons reported one event in the way the Holy Spirit led each one to write. In John, there is no mention of an angel at all, until Peter and John had left. Mary Magdalene then looked inside and saw two angels (John 20:12), and they only asked, “Woman, why are you weeping?” The next contact she had was with the Risen Jesus, Himself.
For the skeptics, look at any event that’s being reported today by the multiple news outlets, and sometimes it’s hard to recognize it as the same story. We have so much faux news that getting the truth requires digging deep; even then, it won’t be accurate.
Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” In 2 Peter 1:20-21, “Knowing this first of all, no prophecy of scriptures comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God, as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” That pretty much sums up the whole 66 books of the Bible that the Father has given us.
If we take all the reports and pull out the main information, we find that more than one woman went to the tomb to place spices on Jesus’ body. At least one and possibly two angelic beings were there, and the stone had already been removed from the entrance. Ultimately, Mary Magdalene reported this to the apostles, and Peter and John went and entered the tomb. Jesus was not there, but the burial clothes were folded neatly where He had laid. The message from the angels asked why seek the living from among the dead, as Jesus had risen. His body had not been stolen as the religious leaders would later report.
We know Jesus is God (John 10:30), and could’ve walked right through the rock, the same as He entered the locked room later where the apostles had gathered. All that was in place after His previously “fully-human” body had risen was left in an orderly manner, not in disarray as if criminals had removed His body.
Jesus appeared over the next 40 days to numerous – some reports say hundreds of – people to prove He had risen. It should be noted, His human side perished, as no Roman soldier would have allowed anyone alive off a cross. He didn’t just “faint” as some have tried to say. There had been others raised from the dead in various places in the Bible, but each of them at some point had to return to the grave. Their remains are there today. Jesus is the only “human” to ever have died, and then rise from the grave, and is now and always will be alive.
As for His “fully-God” side, His Spirit never perished. He is our example that “alive in the flesh” we are here on earth. When our human body dies, a believer’s Spirit is immediately with Jesus.
For unbelievers, their spirit is in a “holding” place awaiting the White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). They have already begun their torment as illustrated in Luke 16:19-31, the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
Jesus again gave us a perfect example in Luke 23:42-43, “And he (criminal) said, Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. And He (Jesus) said to him, truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
The criminal followed the steps necessary for Salvation, and was the first to receive the Covenant of the Cross. First, he “confessed” he was a sinner. Luke 23:41, “And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds (sin); but this Man (Jesus) has done nothing wrong.” Then, as stated above, he asked Jesus to remember (save) him. He put his soul in the hands of the precious “Sacrificial Lamb.” He called on the name of the Lord, and was saved (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13). Jesus accepted his plea, just as He will accept you and me and all who will call on Him.
When we tell Jesus we are sinners, we are admitting (confessing) we are helpless to save ourselves, and without Him we are hopeless. To accept Jesus is as stated in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” We are saying we wish to turn away from “habitual sin.”
Our “old” self has “died,” and we have been “born again” though the blood of Jesus. When, not if, we sin from that point on, we are able to receive forgiveness by following 1 John 1:8-10. No human, other than Jesus, ever has, or ever will, lead a complete sinless life this side of Heaven.
Please remember, we cannot buy or earn our Salvation, and we definitely do not deserve it just because we believe we’re a “good person.”
Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by Grace you have been saved through Faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the Gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
We work to honor the Lord, and do our best to live in a manner that brings Him all the praise and glory, not accolades for us.
But to think we can “impress” the Father by our works or deeds, Isaiah 64:6: “We all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”
We need to celebrate the Birth, Death, Burial and especially the Resurrection, of our Savior every day! He left Heaven, which is glorious and wonderful beyond anything we can imagine, to come to this sin-filled world. He did not come with all the “pomp and circumstance” that our Creator deserves, but as one that had “no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2b).
His actions spoke volumes, and He drew crowds with His messages and miraculous deeds. He took on Himself (John 10:18) a death that was horrible, and reserved for criminals, though He Himself had no sin in Him. His precious blood was shed for everyone, not just God’s chosen (John 10:16). Each and every individual must accept Jesus for themselves to be saved. No one can do it for us.
He forces no one; He will accept all who will call on Him. The only unforgivable sin is to reject the Savior, and take one’s last breath on this earth without repenting of this. All else can be forgiven for those who confess and ask His forgiveness.
With all the signs that were given by the Savior and others, we are just about at the end of this age, and the 7-year tribulation (Wrath) is close. Closer still is Jesus coming to call all believers, from the cross forward, to meet Him in the air (Rapture). That moment is very near, and could happen at any time. Only those who have accepted Jesus at that time will rise up. When He calls, it will be too late to accept Him, as this event will take less than one second (Twinkling/blinking of an eye, 1 Corinthians 15:52).
It’s not worth taking the chance. See Romans 10:9-13, John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 for God’s own words about being saved, and by what name it can be accomplished. There are no third options. Heaven or Hell, your choice completely. Call today – now wouldn’t be too early – as tomorrow may be too late.
Maranatha! Ahavah Olan! (Love Everlasting!)