Summary: Resurrection power is not only for salvation, it is also our hope as we live the Christian life. (Ephesians 1:17-21).”
Can you imagine what it must have been like for the followers of Jesus on Saturday, the day after Jesus had been crucified? All was lost. Jesus was dead. They had given up everything to follow Jesus. Everything in them had sensed that He was truly who He said He was. They believed with all of their hearts that He was the promised Messiah and Savior who had been prophesied about all the way back to the early chapters of Genesis.
Yes, they had run away when Jesus was arrested. Yes, they feared death as much as the next person, but they truly believed. Every verse of prophecy that had been foretold about the Messiah came true in the life of Jesus Christ.
For those who had ears to hear and eyes to see there was no mistaking that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah. Truly the Savior had come. . . and now He was dead. Even though Jesus had warned them, it was as if they never saw it coming. (John 2:18-22; Matthew 12:39-40; Matthew 16:21; Matthew 27:62-64)
They were familiar with the prophecies. They had heard Jesus’ words about his upcoming death, burial, and resurrection, but in the midst of the struggle and devastation, they had “forgotten” the truth that they had built their lives upon.
So many times we do the same. Life has suddenly become so difficult that we focus our attention on the storm that rages around us and we forget the rock that is our ultimate security (Matthew 7:24-27). We forget the promises of Christ and the character of God. We begin to worry and doubt like one who has no God, but that is not who we are. That is not whose we are.
Saturday must have been so difficult for Jesus’ disciples but we must remember that we can never truly evaluate a situation until we can view it from Sunday’s perspective. We can never know the truth about a situation until we have heard God’s perspective.
We read the story of Easter morning in Luke 23:54 – 24:12.
“It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath, they rested according to the commandment.”
“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third-day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words,9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.”
We are familiar with Easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, but theologically and practically speaking what is so significant about Christ’s resurrection? Christ died on the cross to pay for our sin so that we could be forgiven, but what did the resurrection accomplish? We find much of the answer to this question when we look to the writings of Luke.
Luke wrote the book of Luke to a man named Theophilus his reason for writing was to bring together the true details of the “things which are most surely believed among us.” Luke worked to gather the details of the true stories that had been handed down from eyewitnesses and their ministers of the word. It was done so “that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”(Luke 1:1-4) Luke then precedes to record teachings, miracles, crucifixion, the resurrection, and the ascension of Jesus of Nazareth, the Promised Messiah.
In Luke’s second writing, the Acts of the Apostles, he begins with the ascension and continues with the story of the followers of Jesus in the early church. In the book of Acts, the primary responsibility of the Apostles was to be witnesses of what they had seen. Because of this, Jesus gave them “many proofs appearing to them for 40 days” after his resurrection. Jesus then sent them out “to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the world.” They were not sent out to establish a new systematic theology. They were not scholars or philosophers. They were common men who were supposed to tell what they had seen and explain what it meant. They had seen Jesus do many things, but their primary testimony was to that of His resurrection. This was one primary factor when the disciples looked for a replacement for Judas in Acts 1:21-22, it had to be one who had been with them since the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He had to join them in their task of being eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection.