The resurrection of Jesus

Jesus was crucified. He died. He was buried. And he rose again. The resurrection is an essential part of Christianity. There is no Christianity without the resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 15). This page explains some details of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Mary Magdalene discovers Jesus' tomb was empty

(see John 20:1-10)

The morning after Jesus had been placed in the tomb, Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb. It was very early in the morning and it was still dark outside.

An empty tomb - Copyright Angilla S.She saw that the stone had been removed from the front of the tomb and that the tomb was empty.

She ran to Peter to inform him what she had seen. Then, Peter and another Apostle, John, ran to the tomb to see for themselves. The body of Jesus was gone and the only thing left behind was the cloth that was used to wrap his body for the burial. The Apostles were confused, they did not understand what was happening. How could the tomb be empty? Where was the body of Jesus?

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene

(see John 20:10-18)

The Apostles returned to their homes. But Mary Magdalene remained by the tomb, crying. Then she turned and saw a man who asked her why she was crying. Mary Magdalene soon realized that the man who was talking to her was Jesus Christ. Jesus had risen from death. Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the resurrected Jesus.

Resurrection appearances

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the beginning of Christianity. If Christ had not been resurrected and seen by many people (more than 500), Christianity would not exist today. Jesus made twelve appearances after his resurrection:

1. His first appearance was to Mary Magdalene, on that early Sunday morning. (Mark 16:9; John 20:10-18).

2. Jesus appeared to the women returning from the tomb. (Matthew 28:9-10).

3. Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:13-32; Mark 16:12-13).

4. He appeared to Peter in Jerusalem. (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).

5. He appeared to his disciples and other followers, and also a second time to the two men from Emmaus, in a locked room in Jerusalem. The apostle Thomas wasn't there at that time. (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23).

6. A week later, Jesus again appeared to his disciples behind locked doors, and this time Thomas was present. (John 20:24-29).

7. Jesus appeared to seven of his disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. (John 21:1-24).

8. Jesus was seen by 500 believers at one time. (1 Corinthians 15:6).

9. He appeared to James. (1 Corinthians 15:7).

10. He appeared to eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee. (Matt. 28:18-20).

11. He walked with his disciples along the road to Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, and then ascended into Heaven. (Luke 24:50-53).

12. He was seen by Paul on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Corinthians 15:8).

Jesus appears before Thomas

(see John 20:24-29)

Some people had doubts that Jesus had risen from death, that he had been resurrected. After all, the Romans drove nails through Jesus' hands and feet and later pierced his side with a spear to make sure he was dead. And now there were people claiming to have seen Jesus alive again. Even the Apostle named Thomas had doubts, as explained in John 20:24-29 (NIV translation):

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

The significance of the resurrection

(see 1 Corinthians 15)

In the New Testament of the Bible, there is a book called 1 Corinthians, which was written by a disciple named Paul. The 15th chapter of this book explains the significance of the resurrection of Jesus. It says that Jesus died for our sins. (see 1 Corinthians 15:3). It also says that our faith would be meaningless if there had been no resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 15:17). And it proclaims that Jesus was resurrected. (see 1 Corinthians 15:20). Paul is one of the people who saw Jesus after the resurrection.

The Great Commission

(see Matthew 28:18-20)

After the resurrection, Jesus met with his disciples on a mountain in Galilee and gave them a command to go out and evangelize to all people:

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:16-20 NIV).

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus mentions the triune nature of God when he speaks of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is referred to as the "holy trinity" and also as the "triune nature of God," meaning that God is three-in-one. Christians believe in one God - one God who is God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Athanasian Creed and the Nicene Creed do a good job of explaining the triune nature of God. These creeds were written by Christians as a way to summarize and explain Christianity.

Jesus ascends into Heaven

(see Mark 16:19-20)

After he had told his disciples to go out into the world and preach the word of God, Jesus ascended into Heaven:

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (Mark 16:19-20 NIV).

The return of Jesus

(see Matthew 24)

The New Testament explains that Jesus will return in the future to judge the living and the dead and to establish eternal peace.

There are several verses that refer to Jesus' return, including Matthew 16:24-28, Matthew 24, Matthew 25:31-46, Mark 8:34-9:1, Mark 13, Luke 9:23-27, Luke 17:20-37, Luke 21:5-38; John 6:39-40, and John 14:3.

In Matthew 16:27, Jesus is quoted as saying that the "Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done."

The book of Matthew, chapter 24, describes a series of signs that will occur before his return. We are told that all of these signs will manifest themselves during the span of a single generation: "This generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place" (Matthew 24:34).

But we don't know which generation that will be.

In Mark 13:32, we are told that "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether we are presently living in the generation that will witness all of the signs described in Matthew 24. Many people have tried to predict when Jesus will return only to be proven wrong. The Bible warns us not to worry and reminds us to be prepared, spiritually. For believers, Jesus' return will be a glorious event.