Dr. Luke is sparse on the details of the resurrection.
He takes up the story of the morning of the first day of the week with a group of women bringing spices to the tomb to continue to prepare the body of Jesus. They were surprised to find the stone rolled away. The resurrection of Jesus had already taken place. There were no human witnesses to the actual event. It is easy to imagine an amazing angelic celebration when Jesus came out of that tomb. Our purpose here is to flesh out the story that Luke tells and hold only to the facts he relates.
Somehow, the stone was rolled away. Did angels do the work? Did it move untouched? Was there an earthquake to move it? Did light pour out of the darkness within the tomb? Did Jesus walk out or materialize outside? No one knows. What we do know is that Jesus rose from the dead. Professional killers took His life. Joseph and Nicodemus, carefully observed by women who followed Jesus, prepared His dead body. There is no doubt that He died; He did not swoon and appear to be dead. He had defeated death during His ministry here on earth and now the Spirit of God raised Him from the dead, wresting Jesus from death’s grip.
The First Day of the Week
Somehow at some point before dawn, death was defeated. Jesus drew breath into His body again, not the crucified body, drained of blood, bruised and lacerated. This was a new body with a different kind of life. We know from other sources that the scars that bought our redemption remained but the wounds contained life, not death. This glorified body was superior to the human frame Jesus had occupied in the incarnation. This one was fit for earth or heaven and could pass through walls and doors and transport from place to place.
The Eighth Day of the New Creation
Christian tradition calls the Resurrection of Jesus, the Eighth Day of Creation, meaning that God restored the eternal life lost by Adam and Eve in the Garden. For this reason, Jesus is called the Second Adam.
“For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
Jesus’ victory over death means that everything in creation is under His authority. It is a victory now and at the coming of the Lord.
“For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.”
The women did not know what the meaning of these events might be: the stone rolled away and the empty tomb. Suddenly two angels stood by them in shining garments. The women fell to the earth in fear. The angels spoke
“Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
The women didn’t move. The question did not reveal the whereabouts of Jesus. The angels went on.
“He is not here, but is risen!”
The angels reminded the women of the detailed teaching Jesus had done predicting His resurrection. Slowly, they remembered. They gathered their belongings and hurried to tell the disciples. The men did not believe them. Peter ran to the tomb, stooped down and looked inside. The grave clothes were there but Jesus wasn’t.
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'” And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 NKJV
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Lord Jesus, You are Lord of all! Your victory is complete in every way. Death could not hold You. The Holy Spirit raised You from the dead and has the power to raise me from the dead also! The same Spirit that raised You from the dead shall quicken my mortal body. From dust I came and to dust I may return, but You will give me a new body, like Yours, and I shall live again and forever! If I am alive when You return, I will be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. This mortal shall put on immortality! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
Words: Charles Wesley; Music: Paul Sjolund
1. Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
2. Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
3. Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!
4. Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
5. Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
6. King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.