While he walked the earth in the flesh, Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God (John 8:31-59)) and his resurrection was not only the supreme validation of His deity; it also affirmed the omnipotence of God and the immortality of man, and authenticated His own claims that He would be raised on the third day (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34)In Matthew’s account of this historic event, Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified and Joseph of Arimathea had been given his body for burial. He took the body to a new tomb he had prepared for himself, washed it, and wrapped it in white linen. Closing his eyes, he placed a napkin over His face, got out of the tomb and rolled a great stone over the mouth of the Sepulchre. Then he departed. (Matthew 27:1-60)For three straight days, all the demons of hell rejoiced. Satan and the forces of darkness thought they had won a major victory. For these three days, the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ days, as well as the Roman government, congratulated themselves on their brilliant scheme. How wrong they were! ‘
In Luke 11:39, Jesus ordered the stone to be rolled off Lazarus grave so Lazarus could “come forth” but in the resurrection story, Joseph had rolled a great stone over the mouth of the Sepulchre and departed (Matt.27:60) but Jesus needed no help to exit a grave. In John 20:19, the Bible records that after his resurrection, locked doors were no longer a barrier to him so by the time we see the angel roll away the stone in Matt.28, Jesus had already risen but the stone had to be rolled away so Mary, his disciples and indeed all of creation could confirm that evil had lost its victory and Jesus had defeated the grave. ‘
From that first Easter morning till date, the tomb has remained empty. He comforted a weeping woman, spoke with travelers on a journey and met with his faithful friends severally. The Bible records six separate eye-witness accounts of Jesus appearing after his death in eleven separate instances; over a period of forty days. Sixty years after his death, He appeared to John on the island of Patmos and said: “I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:17-18).
It is my prayer that in the next 40 days and beyond, Jesus will appear to you and by the same power that raised him from the dead quicken your mortal bodies; and resurrect you from every grave the devil might have imprisoned you in.
He is RISEN!