The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah**

In our study in the holy Gospel {Injeel}, we have studied that Jesus the Messiah was unique in His Life, in His Teaching and in His Authority.  In addition because of what he taught, he was causing division among the teachers of the Jews.  Because of all of this they wanted to put him to death.   In addition, we studied previously the disturbing claims Jesus the Messiah made of himself.   We learnt that Jesus the Messiah was more than a mere prophet. Jesus was full of the power of God. He was the very Power of God in a human body! That was why He could calm the storm, cast out demons, heal the sick and the blind, and even raise the dead to life.  He is the Word of God in bodily form! 

In this study we conclude the study of Jesus the Messiah and read how Jesus the Messiah was crucified.  But death did not have power to hold him and so he came by to life, just as he predicted he would on the third day.   The power of death was not a problem for Jesus, because He Himself was (and is) the Resurrection and the Life.   Let us now begin this study to understand the meaning and reason for the Crucifixion and Resurrection.     

We continue in the Gospel to see how Jesus entered Jerusalem where He was to be killed. Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to Him. He knew that the leaders of the Jewish religion would turn Him over to the Romans who would torture Him and nail Him to a cross. Still, that knowledge did not prevent Him from going to Jerusalem. Concerning this, the Gospel says: "As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem!" (Luke 9:51) As He was walking, heading toward Jerusalem, Jesus said to His disciples, "I have a baptism [of suffering] to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!" (Luke 12:50)

Why did Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem? He did this to give Himself up to those who wanted to kill Him! This is amazing! If you knew that, in a certain city, men wanted to torture and kill you, would you resolutely set out for that city? That is exactly what Jesus the Messiah did. Jesus knew that the reason He was born was to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus did not come into the world to seek His own pleasure, but to fulfill what the prophets had written long before concerning Him: that the Messiah would suffer and shed his blood outside Jerusalem on the mountain where Abraham offered the ram in place of his son. It was necessary that the symbolism of the sacrificial ram be fulfilled in Jesus. That was why Jesus went to Jerusalem, the city which, for Him, was like a den of hungry lions awaiting their prey.

Now let us continue our study in the book of the Gospel. The Scripture says:

"They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him." (Mark 10:32) "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled." (Luke 18:31) "The Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise." (Mark 10:33,34)

(Luke 18) 34The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

 (Luke 19) 39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" 40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." 41As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes. 44…because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

(Matt. 21) 10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" 11The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee ….. 14The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant. (They were angry because "Hosanna" means "God save us"-- a word to be used for praising God alone.) 16"Do you hear what these children are saying?" [the priests] asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, "'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?"

 (John 12) 23[Then Jesus spoke to his disciples, saying,] "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds…

27"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." 33He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

Let us stop here briefly. We read how the people did not understand why Jesus had entered Jerusalem. Even Jesus' disciples did not realize what was going to happen. They hoped that Jesus would save the Jewish people from the dominion of their enemy, the Romans. But that was not why Jesus came into the world. Jesus did not come to destroy the empire of Rome, but to destroy the empire of Satan. He did not come down to change this corrupt world, but to change the hearts of people. Indeed, one day, Jesus Christ will return to judge the people of the world and to restore the created world. However, when He came into the world the first time, He came to die as a sacrifice. He came to save the children of Adam from the penalty of their sin, as God had promised through His prophets long beforehand.

Continuing in the story, Scripture says:

(Luke 19) 47Every day [Jesus] was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.

(Luke 20) 9He went on to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. 10At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. 13"Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.' 14"But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. 'This is the heir,' they said. 'Let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "May this never be!" 17Jesus looked directly at them and asked, "Then what is the meaning of that which is written: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone'? 18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed!" 19The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.

Through the parable of the wicked farmers, Jesus warned those who were plotting to kill Him. Do you understand the meaning of this parable? Interpreting it is not difficult. In this parable, the Lord Jesus compares God to the owner of the field. The field of grapes (vineyard) is people who believe in God. The evil farmers illustrate the religious leaders of the Jews. The servants that the owner of the field sent to collect the grapes, whom the farmers mistreated, are the prophets. The son of the owner of the field, whom the farmers killed, represents the Messiah, Jesus.

We can understand why the priests and the teachers of the law became very angry. They knew very well that Jesus was speaking about them! They understood that Jesus was comparing them to the wicked farmers who had harassed the servants of the owner of the field, and, in the end, killed his son. Thus Jesus denounced them as those who ignored the words of the prophets, and as those who would kill the Messiah, the Son of the Most High. Not only did Jesus tell them the parable, but He also quoted that which is written concerning Himself in the Psalms, saying: "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed!" (Luke 20:17,18; Psa. 118:22) Thus Jesus warned the religious leaders that the Savior whom they refused and planned to kill, would, in the end, become their Judge!

For one thousand five hundred years, the Jews sacrificed lambs every year at the festival of the Passover, in order to remember how God had saved them from the plague of death that fell on the land of Egypt. However, God did not want them merely to look back and to remember what had happened. By means of those sacrificial lambs, God wanted them to look forward and anticipate the day when the Messiah would shed His blood on the cross. The blood which the Messiah would shed would save sinners from the plague that is worse than any other plague: the eternal fire of hell!

Now let us return to the Gospel, and review how this historic Passover is related to Jesus the Messiah.

 (Matt. 26) 1When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2"As you know, the Passover is two days away-and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified." 3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him.

However, the most important thing in what we have just read is what Jesus said when He shared the bread and the cup with His disciples. Let's read it:

(Mark 14) 22While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." 23Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. 24"This cup is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many…"

Thus we see how Jesus placed two symbols before His disciples: the symbol of the bread, and the symbol of the cup. The bread, which Jesus broke and gave to His disciples, illustrated His body, which He was going to give as a sacrifice. The cup with the juice of grapes illustrated the blood which Jesus the Redeemer would pour out to pay the debt of sin for the children of Adam so that they might live in the presence of God forever.

Thus, through the symbol of the bread and the symbol of the cup, Jesus taught His disciples that the reason He came into the world was to give His life-His body and His blood-as a sacrifice for sinners. Just as everyone on the earth must take in food and water in order to stay alive, so also, everyone who wants to live forever in heaven with God must believe that Jesus Christ gave His body and blood to give us eternal life. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only One who can give eternal life and the blood He shed is God's only remedy to redeem you and me from the curse which sin brought.

Ah, fellow readers, if you remember only one thing from this study, let it be this: Jesus Christ came into the world to bear your burden of sin. That is the message of God's prophets. That is the meaning of the ram which Abraham sacrificed in place of his son. The way of forgiveness is the way of the Perfect Sacrifice. God can forgive you of your sins through the sacrifice of the holy Redeemer, who poured out His blood for you. For thousands of years God required animal sacrifices so that He could pass over (cover, overlook) the sins of the children of Adam. That is the Old Covenant, which God entrusted to His prophets. However, Jesus the Messiah is the One who brought the New Covenant. He is the One who came to fulfill the symbolism of the animal sacrifice.

As this was all going on, even his disciples were confused as to what was Jesus talking about.  Note what he teaches further -  saying,

(John 14) 5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to [God] the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." 8Philip said, "Lord, show us [God] the Father and that will be enough for us." 9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

Thus the Lord Jesus comforted the hearts of His disciples and prepared them for what was about to take place. He announced to them concerning the Counselor {Lit. Helper}? It is vital that you understand this, because some people today distort the words of Jesus and try to make men believe that He was announcing the coming of another prophet. Who is this Counselor? The Lord Jesus tells us plainly who the Counselor is. Read below to know what Jesus said,

"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-the Spirit of truth.…He… will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.…the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:16-18,26)

Again, we ask the question: Who is the Counselor that Jesus promised to His disciples? He is the Holy Spirit, who comes from God. He is the Spirit of God and Jesus. He is the Holy Spirit, whom God would place in the hearts of all who believe in Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Jesus promised His disciples that after He died, rose again, and returned to heaven, that He would send His Holy Spirit into their hearts, so that He might regenerate them, cleanse them, strengthen them, and "guide them into all truth." (John 16:13; see also Titus 3:4-7)

Why did Jesus allow Himself to be arrested by His enemies? He did so to fulfill the Scriptures of the Prophets who prophesied repeatedly that the Messiah must suffer and shed His blood as a sacrifice which takes away sin. The Righteous Redeemer had to die for the unrighteous in order to bring us to God. Jesus the Messiah came into the world to fulfill the words of the prophets. He came to fulfill the meaning of sacrificial sheep. He came to save you and me from our sins. That is why He allowed Himself to be arrested by His enemies. Jesus gave up His life for you and for me. Praise be to God for sending us such a Savior!

Let us now read what Scripture teaches about the events leading to his crucifixion:

(Mark 14) 53They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law came together. 54Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire. 55The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 57Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58"We heard him say, 'I will destroy this manmade temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.'" 59Yet even then their testimony did not agree. 60Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?" 61But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" 62"I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." 63The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked. 64"You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, "Prophesy!" And the guards took him and beat him.

(John 18) 28[Thus,] the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas (the High Priest) to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29So Pilate came out to them and asked, "What charges are you bringing against this man?" 30"If he were not a criminal," they replied, "we would not have handed him over to you." 31Pilate said, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law." "But we have no right to execute anyone," the Jews objected. 32This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken indicating the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled.

 (John 19) 1Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face. [They spat on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. (Matt. 27:30)] 4Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him." 5When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!" 6As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!" But Pilate answered, "You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him." 7The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."

Now dear friends, we invite you to understand with your mind and heart as we read from the Gospel the sacred story of Jesus’ death on the cross. Scripture says:

(John 19) 16Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).

(Luke 23) 26As they [were leading Jesus], they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.… 32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals-one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!"… 35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One." 36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

(John 19) 23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24"Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it." This happened that the [word which the prophet David wrote in the Psalms] might be fulfilled which said, "They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." So this is what the soldiers did.

(Luke 23) 39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" 40But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." 42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

(Mark 15) 33At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" --which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 35When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah." 36[Another said,] "Leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said. (The people said that because they did not understand what Jesus had said, nor did they understand what was happening. The whole land became completely dark--from midday until early afternoon. During those dark hours God heaped the punishment of the sins of all the children of Adam upon the holy Redeemer, so that whoever believes in Him will never perish! We cannot even begin to imagine the intensity of Jesus' sufferings for us.)

(John 19) 28Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scriptures would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished!" (Luke 23) 46[Then] Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" When he had said this, he breathed his last.

(Mark 15) 38The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!" 40Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

(John 19) 31Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken," 37and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."

38Later, Joseph [a rich man from] Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. 39He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was near by, they laid Jesus there."

The death of the Messiah on the cross is the most important news in all the Holy Scriptures, because that death is the reason God can forgive us our sins without contradicting His righteousness. However, while the death of the Messiah is the most important news, what we are about to share as we continue is the most wonderful news, because we are going to hear how God raised Jesus from the dead.

As we already read, after Jesus died on the cross, a soldier took a spear and stabbed it into Jesus' side, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water which proved that He was dead. We saw also that a rich man took the body of Jesus and placed it in a new tomb that he had chiseled out of the rock for himself. A huge round stone was rolled over the tomb's entrance. Everything happened exactly as God's prophets had foretold it.

Thus, in the Gospel, it is written:

(Matt. 27) 62The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63"Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.' 64So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first." 65"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

(Matt. 28) 1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

Thus when the women arrived at the cemetery, (Luke 24) 2they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In 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? 6He 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 into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" 8Then they remembered his words. 9When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. [For the disciples still did not understand the Writings of the Prophets which said that Jesus had to rise from the dead. (John 20:9)] 12Peter, 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.

13Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16but they were kept from recognizing him.

17He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?" They stood still, their faces downcast. 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?" 19"What things?" he asked. "About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see." 25He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going further. 29But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" 33They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the [disciples] assembled together 34and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon!" 35Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

36While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 37They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." 40When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." 45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things."

(John 20) 24Now Thomas…, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." 26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." 28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" 29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." 30Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

What a thrilling story we have read today! Jesus rose from the dead! He conquered one of man's greatest enemies: death. The grave could not hold Him. On the third day, Jesus came right out of His grave clothes, like a butterfly leaving his chrysalis shell. Only the grave clothes remained where the body of Jesus had been lying. The Lord Jesus Christ arose in a glorious body like the body which everyone who believes in Him will one day receive! That is the reason the Scripture says:

"Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive!" (1 Cor. 15:20-22)

The resurrection of Jesus proves that He is the One He claimed to be. Do you remember that Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies!" (John 11:25) Jesus promised to give eternal life to all those who believe in Him, but if He Himself had not conquered death, how could He save others from the power of death and sin and hell?

Perhaps an illustration will help. A child is playing in the waves along the seashore. Suddenly a strong current sweeps him out to sea. He desperately tries to get back to shore but cannot. The child will die unless someone rescues him. There is a man on the shore who sees the child and yells to him, "Don't be afraid. I will save you!" So the man swims out to where the child is, but, alas, the currents are too strong for him. Both he and the child drown. The man intended to rescue the child, but he lacked the power to carry out his intention. The ocean current was too strong for him. Similarly, we hear those who claim to be saviors, telling people, "Follow me, trust me, and you'll get into Paradise." Those who make such promises may have good intentions, but they cannot accomplish what they promise. They cannot even save themselves, because they are utterly unable to overcome the power of sin and death. The power of death is too strong for them, and when they die, they will be buried, their bodies will decay in the grave, and their souls will await the Day of Judgment.

But it was not that way with the Lord Jesus. He is the One He claimed to be! Everything took place just as He predicted. Jesus died as a sacrifice to take away sin, was buried, and then on the third day He came out of the grave! Never has there been anyone among the prophets who died, was buried, and then came out of the tomb never to die again! But that is what Jesus the Messiah did! He defeated death and the grave! He overcame sin and Satan and death and hell! And the most wonderful thing in all of this is that whoever truly believes this good news about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will share in His glory forever! That is what the Lord Jesus proclaimed after He had risen from the dead, saying, "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades!" (Rev. 1:17,18)

God raised Jesus to life, so that you might know for sure that He is the Savior and Judge of the world, whom God appointed. That is what the Scriptures declare, when they say:

"He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him!" (John 1:10)

"I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord!" (John 10:17,18)

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved!…[God] has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved!…Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!" (Acts 4:12; 17:31; Rom. 10:9,13)

** This is a study of  Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah from the Holy Scriptures.   This teaching from the Scriptures is a compilation of Lessons 79 through 89 from “The Way of Righteousness” by Paul Bramsen.    Posted here by permission of copyright holder – Paul Bramsen.