Reading

  • Matt. 28:2-4
  • Mark 16:1-7
  • Luke 24:4-8
  • Mark 16:8
  • John 20:2-10
  • Mark 16:9; John 20:11-17
  • Matt. 28:8-15
  • Luke 24:9-11, 13-35; John 20:19
  • Luke 24:36-44
  • John 20:21-29; 21:1-24
  • Matt. 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18
  • Luke 24:45-51; Acts 1:6-11
  • Luke 24:52-53; Acts 1:12-26
  • Mark 16:20
  • John 20:30-31; 21:25

Devotional

Early on Sunday morning there was a violent earthquake and an angel came down from heaven and rolled away the stone from the tomb and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothes white like snow. The guards saw him and were so afraid that they shook and passed out. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought their spices they had prepared on Friday to the tomb, just after sunrise, so that they might anoint Jesus' body. As they walked along, they asked each other who would roll the stone away for them. Then they looked up and saw that the stone had been rolled away. The stone was very large.

The ladies entered the tomb and saw a young man in a white robe sitting on the right side and they were afraid.

6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
(Mark 16:6-7 NIV)

4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’8 Then they remembered his words.
(Luke 24:4-8 NIV)

So the women ran away from the tomb and were very afraid, but they said nothing to anyone. Mary Magdalene ran to Peter and John and told them someone had taken Jesus' body out of the tomb and she didn't know where they'd put Him. Peter and John ran to the tomb and John made it there first. He bent over and looked at Jesus' burial garments, but didn't enter the tomb. Peter arrived and went into the tomb. Peter also saw the burial cloths plus the cloth which had been around Jesus' head, which was folded up by itself, separate from the other linens. Then John went in and, seeing these things, believed. They still didn't understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.

As Mary Magdalene stood outside the tomb crying, Jesus appeared to her. Jesus asked her why she was crying, but Mary didn't recognize Jesus at first. Then Jesus said, "Mary." Mary immediately recognized Him at that point, but Jesus told her not to lay hold of Him because He had not yet ascended back to the Father. Jesus told her to instead go to His brothers and tell them to go to Galilee and they would see Him there. As the women were on their way, some of the guards went and reported to the chief priests what happened. The chief priests and elders, whose hearts were obviously hardened beyond measure, paid the guards large sums of money to say that they were sleeping and the disciples stole Jesus' body during the night.

The women told the apostles and the other disciples about Jesus appearing to them, but they didn't believe them, because the story sounded crazy. That same day, Jesus appeared to two disciples as they walked from Jerusalem to a nearby town called Emmaus. The disciples were downcast because of Jesus' death. Jesus, walking along with them, asked them what they had been discussing. The disciples didn't recognize it was Jesus. Shocked at the question, they told Jesus about the events of the past few days and how Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified. Jesus rebuked them as foolish, and taught them, beginning with Moses and the prophets about what the Scripture said concerning what would happen to the Christ, showing them how these events happened just as GOD had foretold.

As they approached the village, Jesus acted as if He were going on ahead, when they urged Him to stay with them. Jesus agreed, and as they were at the table preparing to eat, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Immediately their eyes were opened and they knew it was the Lord Jesus, and He disappeared from their sight. Immediately, the two got up and returned to Jerusalem. It was Sunday evening, and the disciples were all gathered in a locked house because they were afraid of the Jews. They reported that it was indeed true that the LORD had arose, and that He had appeared to them.

While they were still talking, Jesus appeared and stood among them. He said, "Peace be with you." They were afraid, thinking they were seeing a ghost. Jesus told them not to doubt, that He wasn't a ghost because ghosts don't have skin and bones. He showed them His hands and feet. Then Jesus asked for something to eat. They gave Jesus a piece of broiled fish and He ate it in front of them. Jesus reminded them that He had told them all these things would take place to fulfill what was written about Him in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and Psalms.

Thomas the apostle was not present when Jesus appeared to the rest, and when they told him what happened, he doubted, saying that he would only believe if he touched Jesus' hands and side where the nails and spear had pierced Jesus. The next week, Jesus appeared to them again, and Thomas was there also. Jesus told Thomas to place his finger on Jesus' side and see the nail scars. Jesus told Thomas that he believed because he saw with his eyes. Then Jesus said that those who do not see and yet believe will be blessed.

Later on, Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James and John and two others went fishing on the Sea of Galilee. They fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus stood on the shore the next morning, but they didn't recognize Him. Jesus called out to them, asking if they'd caught any fish. They replied that they had not, so Jesus told them to cast their nets on the other side. They did so and caught 153 large fish—so many they couldn't lift the nets. John said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Peter wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water. Jesus had started a fire and told them to bring some of the fish they'd caught, and He made them breakfast. Jesus took the bread and the fish and gave it to them. This was the third time Jesus appeared to them after He was raised from the dead.

After breakfast, Jesus asked Peter, "...do you truly love me more than these?" (Jesus might have been referring to the fish that Peter had been seeking, or perhaps Jesus was asking if Peter loved Him more than all other people?)

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him,“Follow me!”
(John 21:15b-19 NIV)

A few weeks later, Jesus came to the apostles once more and gave them final instructions:

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matt. 28:16-20 NIV)

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”  50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
(Luke 24:45-53 NIV) 

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
(Acts 1:6-11 NIV)

There is no more exciting account of events than those of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. The fact that Jesus arose from the grave—that no one can find Jesus' bones buried in a tomb outside of Jerusalem—this is proof that GOD's word is true and we as His children will also live eternally as He promised. Praise GOD and thank you Jesus! Amen. 

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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