The resurrection of Jesus clearly established His claim to be the Son of God as being true and delivered His promise of salvation through this incredible act of love. At this point, Jesus had completed His work here in this world and turned over his mission to the disciples, who have indirectly turned over that work to the entire body of Christ. Keep in mind, the resurrection of Jesus is not a made up story – this is fact, corroborated by hundreds of witnesses who saw and encountered the resurrected Jesus. Believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of our faith that, by the grace of God, provides us with eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
After Jesus had been in His tomb for three days, a woman named Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb. She was astonished to discover the stone in front of the tomb had been rolled away and Jesus was no longer inside. After a few minutes of confusion, Jesus appeared to her fully alive.
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” John 20:16-17 (NIV)
Mary did as Jesus instructed and ran to tell the disciples that Jesus was alive. Later that evening, Jesus appeared to the disciples by miraculously entering a locked room where they were gathered. The disciples were amazed and overjoyed to see Jesus among them alive. After His greeting, Jesus delivered on His promise to empower them with the Spirit of Truth.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22 (NIV)
A week later, Jesus once again appeared to the disciples by miraculously entering the locked room where they were gathered. This time, the disciple Thomas, who was absent on the first visit, saw the resurrected Jesus for the first time. Thomas said he would not believe unless he saw Him and touched Him. Jesus encouraged Thomas to do just that. Thomas then acknowledged the resurrected Jesus as his Lord.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 (NIV)
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