It is likely that those who are on the older end of the age spectrum may relate more to these remarks today. In Psalm 90 it speaks about “numbering our days,” with that passage being the one that talks about the normal span of life being 70 years … or 80 is one is blessed with strength. Being now in my early 60s, the math doesn’t look as good for either of those figures. It would suggest that 75-80% of life is over. That is sometimes a depressing thought.
All of this would be downright horrific to consider without the truth of our passage today – that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, defeated death, offering life eternal to those who trust and believe in him. And this great truth grows down deeper into our souls with greater meaning as the years go by.
The resurrection, though covered by all of the gospel writers, is not nearly as extensive as the life and works of Christ. That may seem strange, since it is more amazing than ANYTHING else that has ever happened in human history. But for the writers, it did happen… clearly. There was no doubt about this. Quite a large number of people were witnesses of this truth, seeing Jesus alive again. Boom! It was done.
Here is a listing, in order, of those who saw Christ, according to the gospel writers and the Apostle Paul …
- To Mary Magdalene and the other Mary – Matthew 28:1-10
- To Peter (afternoon) – Luke 24:34
- To certain disciples on the Emmaus Road (evening) – Luke 24:13-16, 27-31
- To the disciples without Thomas present (Sunday evening) – John 20:19-21, 24-25
- To the disciples with Thomas present (the following Sunday) – John 20:26-29
- To seven disciples beside the Sea of Galilee – John 21:1-4ff
- To the disciples and more than 500 – 1 Corinthians 15:3-7
- To the apostles (and others) at the ascension – Acts 1:1-3,9
He is risen; he is risen indeed! YES!
Luke 24:1 – On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.