True Witnesses Of The Resurrection
The first witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ was Mary of Magdala, one of the women who had been standing at the Cross (see Crossing The T) when He died (see The Death Watch).
"20:10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 20:11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
20:13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?
She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?
She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary.
She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her." (John 20:10-18 KJV)
"He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days"
Later that day (the resurrection was on a Sabbath afternoon, just before sunset; Mary of Magdala discovered the empty tomb the next morning, before sunrise, as described in the verses above - see Why Observe The True Sabbath? and all of the other links in the Fact Finder question below), as sunset came to end the first day of the week ("the same day at evening, being the first day of the week" in the verses below mean that the first day of the week had just ended, not that it was just starting). The risen Messiah then appeared to the apostles. In yet another plain lesson of how no one can understand the Holy Scriptures without the Holy Spirit (see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge), they also then received more of the Holy Spirit to enable them to understand more fully what they had witnessed (see Their Eyes Opened After Christ's Tomb Did).
"20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews [i.e. the Jews who had not yet come to understand - the apostles were Jews too], came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20:20 And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:19-23 KJV)
The famous "doubting Thomas" incident followed later because "Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came" the first time. Thomas had merely asked to see what the Christ had already shown to the others.
"20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord.
But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:24-31 KJV)
The appearances to them continued for forty days, until His ascension a few days before Pentecost. The Gospel book of Luke and the book of Acts were written by Luke in a personal communication to a man named Theophilus (Luke 1:3, Acts 1:1). "Luke" ends where "Acts" begins.
The end of Luke:
"24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me [see The By-The-Book Messiah].
24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen." (Luke 24:44-53 KJV)
The beginning of Acts (His "ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" included Mary of Magdala, every time someone reads of her witness in the Biblical record):
"1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 1:3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence [see Christ's Pentecost].
1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." (Acts 1:1-9 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) How have millions of people become false witnesses of Christ and His resurrection by preaching things, in Christ's Name, that ignore or contradict what the Messiah truly did and said? (b) How does the Roman "sun day" deny the true Resurrection of Jesus Christ?
(a) See Friends Of Jesus, Is Your Religion Your Religion? and What's Your Angle?; also Many Antichrists? and True And False Martyrs
(b) See Why Observe The True Sabbath?
Copyright © Wayne Blank