He Is Risen!
Our Savior lives and reigns!
This is true, and the whole of Christianity is built on top of this fact. I thought it would be interesting and fun to do something a little different this time. I’d like to take a look at some of the interesting facts that surround the resurrection of Jesus and early Christianity.
Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting too.
Did You Know?
The tomb wasn't empty
In John 20:3-8 we find Peter and John running to the tomb and finding it empty, save for the linen burial wrappings and the face cloth that was placed over Jesus’ head.
In Luke's Gospel, he goes into more detail about the women who entered the tomb before Peter and John.
Luke 24:4-6 says, "While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen..."
Jesus' core disciples weren't the first witnesses
The first witnesses to the resurrection were women. (Matt. 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-11, Luke 23:55-24:11, John 20:11-18). If the people of the time wanted to enforce a false narrative with lying witnesses, they would not have chosen women. In those days, the testimony of women was not accepted in the courts. If you really wanted to get people to believe your story, women would not likely have been the first choice for many.
However, God is no respecter of persons, meaning he doesn't give extra honor or special treatment to the rich, mighty, or powerful. In fact, He usually chooses to reveal Himself first to the more humble of society. For example, when Christ was born, The shepherds in the field were the first ones to be told the good news, and they were treated to a concert of angels singing! At the resurrection, it is the women who were the first to receive the good news that Jesus has risen.
The testimonies of the resurrection were written within about 20 years of the event
According to historical evidence, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:3-6) in which he wrote about Jesus’ death, was written somewhere in the mid-50s. Jesus would have died around AD 30-33.
Jesus appeared to more than 500 people after his resurrection
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, Paul also tells us that Jesus appeared to more than 500 witnesses after His resurrection. If this were testimony in the courts, it would be considered conclusive evidence of Jesus’ resurrection.
Why was the stone moved away from the entrance?
Have you ever thought about why the huge 2 ton stone was moved away?
The tomb entrance was covered by this huge, heavy stone. It was sealed and guarded by the Roman military. Its extremely unlikely that Jesus’ disciples could have overpowered the Roman military to break the seal and move a 2 ton stone from the entrance. We read in the gospels that Jesus could suddenly appear in a room full of disciples without using the door. Could it be that the stone wasn’t rolled away for Jesus to get out, but instead, for people to get in and see the empty tomb, to see that Jesus had indeed risen?
Jesus wasn't the only one raised from the dead that day!
One event that seems to get glossed over or left out of retellings of the resurrection story is that Jesus’ wasn't the only one resurrected that day, but was the first of many!
“The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Matt. 27:51b-53)
With Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, the curtain of separation between God and man was torn in two. The punishment for our sin was paid with the blood of sinless Jesus-the Lamb of God.