Resurrection of Jesus
A resurrection is a rising up from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus was a singular event in all of history. No other individual predicted his own death, the time they would spend in the tomb, and their own resurrection--and pulled it off.
You can look at any other person who created a great religion and find their tombs. You can see the tomb of Buddha , the prophet Mohammed, or Confucius. But, the tomb of Jesus is empty.
Jesus predicted his own death and resurrection.
Over the course of his ministry Jesus gave increasingly clear indications that he would die and would be resurrected to life. Sometimes those who heard him thought he was talking about something else entirely. Other times people simply didn't understand what he was saying.
Jesus claimed the power to resurrect others.
As Jesus was nearing Jerusalem for his final confrontation with the religious establishment he came to the area where his friend Lazarus had died and was entombed. Lazaras' sister was sorrowful that Jesus had not been available to heal Lazarus and prevent his death. But, Jesus gave her a different hope, a hope of the resurrection.
At another time Jesus forcefully cleared the Jewish Temple of business people who sold animals for sacrifices. When questioned about his authority for doing this Jesus replied:
But the people thought he was talking about the destruction of Jewish Temple rather than his own body. This comment was brought up as his trial.
Later in his ministry he began to be more clear about his meaning.
That Jesus died is attested to by both his followers and his assailants. That he died is not in dispute.
His followers were disheartened at his death. They fully expected Jesus to lead a revolution to restore the government of Israel and overthrow the Roman occupation.
And, much to their surprise, the disciples experienced a risen Jesus.
One of the first occasions on which Jesus appeared to the disciples was a Sunday evening. The disciples were not praying for or seeking a vision of Jesus. They were in fear of the Jews and had closed the door to the room they were meeting in. In spite of the closed doors, Jesus appeared in the midst.
The disciple Thomas was not with the group during this first appearance. And, next week when they all met together Thomas was neither praying for nor seeks Jesus. In fact, he thought the other disciples were making the whole thing up. The appearances of a risen Jesus were certainly not simple halucinations of emotionally distraught seekers.
Rather they were appearances of an actually risen Jesus.
The resurrection of Jesus gives authority to his message. His resurrection gave hope and encouragement to his disciples.
That hope can be yours, too, if you become a follower of the resurrected Jesus.
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