• Jesus told people he would come alive after he died. Many didn’t believe it
  • He appeared to many people after he came alive so there were witnesses
  • Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascended back up into heaven

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”(John 11:25,26)

How many people do you know that have said they would die and then come alive 3 days later? Many prophesies point to Jesus as the one who would not stay in the grave. Jesus reminded his followers of this, but they seemed to easily forget.

After Jesus died, several of his followers took him down from the cross and put him in the cave-like tomb of a rich man who provided it for burying Jesus. They didn’t have time to do all the preparations to Jesus’ dead body, because it was almost time to observe their Sabbath holy day. So on the third day several women went to the tomb to put some spices on the body of Jesus to finish the burial customs.   They weren’t sure how they would get in since there was no one to roll away the stone. Besides, out of fear of Jesus’ prophesies that he would come alive, the religious leaders convinced the Roman government to put a seal on the tomb and post a guard so nothing would happen.

When the women got to the tomb they saw it was open. Suddenly two angels stood beside them and said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen just as he said he would.” On their way back, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” He then appeared to Mary Magdelene who recognized his voice. Later in the day he walked along the road to Emmaus with two others who at first didn’t recognize who he was. He explained to them from Scripture how all these things were meant to be. Then in the evening the disciples hid with the door locked out of fear of those who had crucified Jesus. Suddenly Jesus appeared among them. “Peace be with you,” he told them. “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see.” After that he appeared to 500 people at one time. He wanted people to really know he was alive.

Forty days later he gathered his disciples and gave them departing instructions to be witnesses of these things to all the world. Then he rose up into the sky and disappeared from their sight. What an encouraging end to his time on earth and a completion of this part of God’s mission to save us. Then the disciples worshiped him with joy, continually praising God. Ten days later, Jesus powerfully sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples at the feast of Pentecost. They were filled with courage and wisdom to go out and tell others so that many more could also have this new life that comes from Jesus.