Witnesses to the Resurrection
The first witnesses to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ were women. The disciples of Jesus were skeptical of their testimony. Jesus shared his resurrection first with those whose hearts were open to what Je
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:19-31)
The disciples had locked themselves in out of fear. How many of us today are bound by fear? Faith overcomes fear. Notice that. Jesus did not condemn his disciples. God’s perfect love casts out fear.
Thomas was willing to follow Jesus to Jerusalem when others were fearful. He said: “Let us go to Jerusalem with Jesus so that we may die with him.
Thomas missed out on the resurrection of Jesus before his disciples. He was given an up close and personal view by Jesus:
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:19-31)
Thomas could see Jesus in a resurrected body. Jesus was not a spirit. He had flesh that was marked by his wounds from the cross. We can be hard on Thomas, but no one had ever been resurrected from the dead.
A Psalm of David prophesied that a Holy One would die but his body would not see corruption or decay:
I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psalm 16:8-10)
When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he quoted this psalm:
“Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,
‘He was not abandoned to Hades,
nor did his flesh experience corruption.’
This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.” (Acts 2:22-32)
Jesus did not decay. His body did not remain in the tomb. He is risen so that we, too, may be raised up. Do we feel his resurrect today? Do we experience his Holy Spirit working in us?
We did not have the opportunity to touch his wounds as did Thomas. But Jesus has touched our wounds. He has redeemed us and made us his own. Peter wrote:
Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9)
Though we were not there, we are witnesses of The Resurrection. Other people to hear about salvation.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:13-15)
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