Welcome back to our Passion Week series. If you missed a post for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday you can catch up any time. We will have one more post looking at three aspects of this week to wrap up: who Judas was, whether Jesus really thought God forsook Him, and what the folded napkin meant.
Jesus’ followers mourned Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. It had been a dark week for them, and because of the Sabbath, they had not been able to return to Jesus’ gravesite since He was buried. Once they were able, two of the women wasted no time going back, prepared with spices to anoint Him.
Matthew 28:1 says, “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.” They wondered how they would get in the tomb, because the stone in front of it was so big. When they got there, the stone had already been rolled away. They went in and saw a man in a white robe sitting. “But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.'” (Mark 16:6)
Mary Magdalene cried because she thought someone had moved Jesus’ body. She turned and saw someone standing there, and He asked her why she was crying. She thought He was the gardener, and asked Him if He had taken Jesus’ body. “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is to say, Teacher).” (John 20:16)
They left the tomb and told the apostles, but they didn’t believe them. Then Peter ran to the tomb. He saw the linen cloths they had wrapped Jesus’ body in, and he was “marveled” at what had happened. (Luke 24:12)
The apostles were together in Jerusalem, and Jesus appeared among them. They were afraid because they thought Jesus was a ghost. “And He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hears? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” (Luke 24:38-39) They were so happy they didn’t believe it had really happened. Their Teacher, their Friend, the One they left their homes and livelihoods for, had died on a cross three days before. Now He was back!
Thomas wasn’t with the other apostles when this happened. They told him that they had seen Jesus. “So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'” (John 20:25) Eight days later, they were in a room together with the door shut, and Jesus appeared to them again. Jesus let Thomas touch His hands and side, and Thomas believed.
Jesus “opened their understanding” so they could know what He had been teaching them. (Luke 24:45) Jesus would spend forty days teaching the disciples. He gave them what we call the great commission. Everything Jesus did: leaving Heaven, becoming human, living 33 years among people who didn’t believe Him, and suffering through the most gruesome death the Romans could devise, came down to this.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. – Matthew 28:18-20
Hallelujah, He arose!
He is risen, and He is returning!
Even so, Lord come quickly.
May the Lord bless and keep you,