Big Easter surprises

Image from: https://www.gospelimages.com/paintings/66/the-women-return-from-the-grave-after-jesus-resurrection

Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James (and possibly other women) had come to the tomb of their teacher and friend.

The earth shook and rumbled with an awesome force. Something great was about to happen.

A holy being suddenly appeared.

Surprise!

This strong and mighty angel was bursting with bright light and illuminated the atmosphere. Its robe radiated with pure white light. This was one of God’s holy angels sent to assist in God’s work.

The angel began to roll the stone away, uncovering the tomb.

The guards on duty that day, who were tasked to guard the tomb of the crucified Jesus, were now trembling in shock. Being completely overwhelmed, they sat in disbelief and amazement by what they had just witnessed. They had never seen such a powerful display of power from heaven.

Surprise!

God’s holy angel told the women there’s no reason to fear. It said, “Jesus is no longer here. He’s come back to life. Come inside the tomb. Check it out. Take a look for yourselves.”

Surprise!

The angel told them, “You’ve seen where his body had once laid. He’s alive. Now, go and tell Jesus’ disciples that he has resurrected from death. Jesus is no longer dead. He is now alive.”

Overwhelmed with joy and excitement, they made their way to Galilee.

As these two women approached Jesus,Jesus appeared and said to them:

“Hey it’s me! Surprise!

Good morning. What a great morning it is this day.

You must be in shock, I know, but there’s no need to fear.

Check me out. It’s really me, your’s truly, Jesus of Nazareth, your old friend. Touch me yourself. Feel that I am indeed real. I have skin and bones. I have nail marks on me. I’m not just a ghost or an apparition.

They looked at Jesus. Surprised and bewildered.

They touched his two ankles, his feet and felt that his body was real indeed.

He was not a ghost or apparition. He was real indeed.

Then they worshiped Jesus.

What a great surprise for these women this day. Almost too much of a surprise to take in. Almost too unbelievable if they hadn’t seen him for themselves.

Jesus then told the women, “Go now, and tell my brothers to start heading up to Galilee. I will meet up with them there.”

So off they went to inform the disciples of this great news.

Indeed, it was a great day, filled with big big surprises.

Happy Easter!

The post-resurrected Jesus

The-resurrected-Lord-Jesus-appears-to-the-disciples-2
Picture depicts a post-resurrected Jesus with nail scars still on his hand.

When most of us think of Easter, it’s usually a simple one. Jesus rose from the dead, then ascended into heaven.  What we don’t hear much about is what happened just after Jesus resurrected.

Some dismiss or try to explain away the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, saying that he was only a spirit-being (like a ghost).  Jesus rising as a spirit-being does not qualify as a resurrection. That’s a Star Wars myth like what we see in Obi-Wan Kenobi (New Hope) or Luke Skywalker (Last Jedi).  To be resurrected in a physical form is much harder to believe.  A resurrection is a bona fide miracle.

After Jesus had resurrected from the dead, left the tomb, he walked and talked with people in a physical form as a real human being. A week after Jesus had resurrected, we know the bible says he was still around before his ascension.  The resurrected Jesus walked around, made himself known to a lot of people, and he showed himself to people.  He was not hiding himself.

Furthermore, he wasn’t just a spirit-being floating around in ethereal space somewhere.  He actually had life in physical form. It was not the same physical body that we have today but it was a resurrected body.

In the bible, the word used for “spirit” is pneuma, but in 1 Cor. 15:44, Paul used the words: soma pneuma (“σωμα πνευματικον”) which means “spiritual body”.  This is the type of body that we, as believers in Jesus, will also be raised with.

Here are some places in the bible where the post-resurrected Jesus showed himself to his disciples in that “spiritual body”:

John 20:19-23  Enters locked room
John 20:24-29  Doubting Thomas
John 21:1-14  Another big catch
Luke 24:13-35  Road to Emmaus
Matthew 28; Mark 16:9   Women
1 Cor. 15:6    500 followers
1 Cor. 15:8    Apostle Paul

Think about it.  First Corinithians 15:6 said that Jesus appeared to over 500 of his followers!  Jesus became a legendary figure.    Witnesses testified they had been with the real live walking-and-talking Jesus.  Their testimonies would have been very hard to dispute.  No wonder the church grew.

Resurrection of Christ Jesus our Lord – Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter.  This Sunday, Christians will celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus whom God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit, raised from the dead to defeat sin, death and evil.  Praise the Lord!

The resurrection is God’s living proof to the disciples, and to us today, that he will fulfill his promise to also resurrect us on the Last Day.  It is the power of God that enables us to receive the good news…to see it and believe it that your sins are really and truly forgiven. The good news is that there is no sin that cannot be forgiven by God.  Praise the Lord!

St. John and St. Peter at Christs Tomb. Artist: Giovanni Francesco Romanelli