For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)
Jesus At That Moment
The resurrection of Jesus is the decisive moment in the history of mankind. Every part of the will of the Father came to fulfillment when God raised His Son from the dead. Hades was not able to hold Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus was not like Lazarus or Jairus’ daughter or any other soul brought from the grave. All those brought out of the realm of the dead again faced death again. Jesus arose and will never die. His death marked the end of the power of Hades, death, sin, the will of the devil and the fear of death. No sacrifice could atone for the sins of men but the blood of Jesus. The cross was the emblem of God’s love allowing His only begotten Son to suffer at the hands of the creation. Through the blood of Jesus, sanctification was offered to all who would obey the word of the Lord.
Jesus knew He would die on the cross. He told His disciples He would go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes. They would kill him using the Roman execution of the cross. Jesus said He would be buried and fulfilling prophecy; He was buried in a new tomb. Like Jonah in the belly of the great fish, the Son of God would remain three days in the tomb. The greatest moment came on the first day of the week when God took His Son from the bowels of the realm of the dead and gave Him life again. Jesus rose on the third day according to the scriptures. Salvation was ushered in through the grace of God for all men to come to the Father.
The gospels all record the story of the empty tomb. Mark describes how Jesus rose early on the first day of the week. The Lord first appears to Mary Magdalene and then the disciples beginning with Peter. On the same day, ten of the apostles had gathered in a locked room when Jesus appeared to them. A week later, they have assembled again, including Thomas and Jesus appears a second time. The Lord will spend over a month with His disciples, teaching and instructing them concerning the kingdom of Heaven.
None of the gospels record the moment Jesus arose. The impact of the moment Jesus rose has eternal consequences and blessings. Jesus had emptied Himself to come in the form of a man although He was God. He was born of a woman as all men. His early life was filled with the same needs and challenges faced by everyone. At the age of thirty, the Son of God began His short ministry to bring the word of His Father to the world. In the beginning, the people were very receptive. As the teachings of Jesus began to sink into the hearts of men, they began to reject Him and persecute Him.
Jesus knew how He would die and why He would die. There was no doubt how His life would end. In Gethsemane, Jesus struggled as the shadow of the cross fell heavy upon Him. When He was arrested, He was treated contemptuously and with violence. They dragged Him from one place to another without regard to His needs. The soldiers beat Him and, before crucifying Him, scourged Him. Crucifixion was a precise instrument of the highest levels of torture invented by men and Jesus felt every shocking wave of pain. He endured hours of incredible suffering. One of the things the Lord was able to mumble before He died was His work was finished. Death was a welcome blessing for Jesus as the suffering of the mortal body ceased. Carried by angels to the bosom of Abraham, Jesus found rest and comfort.
Three days after His death, the time came for Jesus to rise from the dead. What a glorious moment for the Son of God. He was rejoined with His Father in the eternal glory of divine unity. Jesus knew the resurrection sealed the scheme of redemption firmly in the will of the Father. There was nothing that would change the grace of God. Finally, after the millennia of human struggle to overcome sin, Jesus had paved the way, declared the truth of redemption, and paved the way to eternal life. That had to be an incredible moment for Jesus as He walked away from the realm of the dead. He knew everything had been accomplished. The trepidation of Gethsemane was only for a moment. Glory awaited Jesus on the first day of the week. Jesus was free from death. He had accomplished the will of His Father. Is it possible Jesus smiled with eternal joy at what happened when He walked away from the tomb on that first day of the week so long ago? You and I can rejoice for the love of Christ to suffer and die and, by the hand of His Father, rise from the dead. May that day come soon.