RESURRECTION OF JESUS


MATTHEW 28:1-10

COMMENTARY

The four gospels tells us that on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joses and Salome (Mark 15:40), followed later by other women (Luke 24:10) came to the tomb of the Lord to anoint Him, but found the stone gate rolled away from the tomb’s entry, and a couple of angels (Luke 24:4; John 20:12) told them that Jesus had resurrected as He had promised (Luke 9:22).

Seems that nobody understood or believed the words of Jesus when He spoke of his physical resurrection. We have no word of Mary, the mother of Jesus being anywhere near the tomb or in expectation of his resurrection, neither the apostles believed it until they saw the body missing (Luke 24:10-12). Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to anoint the body of our Lord because she supposed Him dead (John 20:13-15).

Our Lord Jesus had, to the marvel of Romans, Jews and his own disciples (Matthew 28:12-14), resurrected from the dead, manifesting his power over life and death. He demonstrated not only by words and by raising from the dead other people, but through his own resurrection, that He was truly Lord over all that we know as life, which by nature implies eventual death. This sealed the proof of his mission as Saviour of the World, since He demonstrated that He also could honour the promise of eternal life He made to all who surrendered to Him (John 6:40).

Much it is said in the gospels about physical resurrection of the death, more even so than salvation from spiritual damnation.  

This is done for two purposes:

One to leave clear that physical death is a consequence of sinfulness (Romans 6:23) and was not at all part of the human nature from the moment of creation. Had God created humans to die physical deaths, no mention will be said about the physical resurrection of our Lord, which was truly physical and not an illusion (Luke 24:39; John 20:27).

Another reason is that physical death comes as a consequence of sinfulness, whose spiritual consequence is spiritual separation from God. Jesus demonstrated by imposing Himself over the humanly invincible power of death, to be powerful enough to also delete that spiritual damnation that sin put on us.

Never a religious historical figure in the world, has ever claimed to overpower death by coming back alive from it after 3 days. Why? Because there has never been anyone so bold as to claim victory over death, not even in fantasy; but Jesus of Nazareth did, because He could, and not in private, but as a testimony to many, at his resurrection day, as in the next 40 days that He appeared to his followers (Acts 1:2-3).

The gospels also tell us that when Mary Magdalene noticed the body missing, she stood weeping thinking that the Lord’s body had been removed from his place. Sometime between the angels telling her about the Lord’s resurrection and going to tell the apostles, our Lord Himself appeared to Mary, and presented Himself in his resurrected condition (John 20:11-18) to her, and later to the other women, most probably Mary the mother of James, and Joanna (Luke 24:10). When He appeared to the Magdalene, our Lord refused to be touched as He had not yet entered into the Father’s presence (John 20:17), but later in his mercy, He let her and the other women touch his feet and give Him adoration (Matthew 28:9).

Our Lord finally appeared to all his disciples, we assumed also his own mother, brothers and sisters, even though the gospel does not expressly mention this, since Jesus appeared to all the apostles, including John, who was Mary’s custodian. But He also appeared to 500 people at once, as a ultimate testimony of his total victory over death (1Corinthians 15:6).

Jesus all along his earthly ministry, was clear that only through Him, we could come to God (John 16:4). And He proved the veracity of his claim by rising from the death, days after He succumbed on the Cross, showing thus to everyone in his time, gentiles and Jews, believers and non-believers, that He had the power to win over death, and everything else that that meant, and that his promise of resurrection and eternal life, were credible, and were truth.

Omar Flores.

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