How did the Lord Jesus Christ rise?
The Lord Jesus Christ was risen from the dead with great power and authority, which is of His essence. That is why He said, “I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” /John 10:17-18/. Speaking of the Lord Jesus’ own will to lay down His life for us, the prophet Isaiah said, “He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth.” /Is. 53:7/ As the prophets and apostles testified, and He himself has spoken, He was risen of His own power and authority, destroying death and corruption.
Why was He buried in a new Tomb?
After His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus Christ was buried in a new tomb. The Israelites had a tradition of laying the departed with the remains of their forefathers. But Jesus Christ was buried in a new tomb which Joseph of Arimathea prepared for himself: “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb…” /Mat. 27:59/. God allowed this to happen in His infinite wisdom not to give any reason for anyone to deny the resurrection of Christ by His own authority. It is written in 2Kings 13:21 that a man was raised from the dead when his body touched the bones of the prophet Elisha. If the Lord Jesus Christ was buried next to one of the prophets, His doubters may have reasoned that He was risen because of the prophet. But to prevent such doubters of any reason to deny His resurrection, He was buried in a new tomb, where no one was laid in before Him.
How did He rise without opening the Tomb?
After Joseph and Nicodemus laid the body of the Lord Jesus Christ in a new tomb, the chief priests and the Pharisees came to Pilate and said, “We remember that the deceiver said, while He was yet alive, after three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the tomb be made sure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead; so the last error shall be worse than the first.” /Mat. 27:63-64/ But Christ was risen while the stone was still sealed on the tomb, for no tomb can hold Christ – God the Son Incarnate. When they wanted to stone Him before His death, He used to disappear from among them, /John 8:59, 10:39/ for no one could take Him captive before His crucifixion. In the same manner, no seal could hold Him captive in the tomb. It is also in the same manner that He appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, in a closed room, without opening the door. /John 20:19/ He was also conceived in the Virgin Mary’s womb and born of Her without breaking her virginity.
Who opened the tomb?
If the Lord was risen without untying the linen He was wrapped with and without opening the tomb, who opened it? As it is written in the gospel, the women who were going to the Lord’s tomb in the early hours of Sunday were worried about who would open the tomb for them. But they found the stone rolled off from the tomb’s entrance. When they went inside, they saw a young man clothed in a long white garment, and he said to them, “Do not be afraid, you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen, He is not here.” /Mark 16:1-6/. This is the angel that rolled the stone off the tomb after the Lord Jesus Christ was risen. Matthew also wrote of this saying, “Behold there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door…” /Mat. 28:2/. The angel rolled back the stone so that the women and also His disciples could go in and see for themselves that He was not in there anymore. /John 20:7/
The first fruit of the Resurrection
The Lord Jesus Christ is the firstfruit of the resurrection as St. Paul testified: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” /1Cor. 15:20/ Elijah and Elisha raised the dead. /1 kings 17, 2 Kings 4/. The Lord Jesus Christ also raised Lazarus from the dead. Many were also risen from the dead at the time of His crucifixion. But all these are not called the firstfruts of the resurrection, because they were not risen of their own power and were subject to death again. But Christ was risen of His own accord, power and authority and death has no power over Him. That is why St. Paul wrote “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over Him.” /Rom. 6:9/
Hope of the Resurrection of the dead
Because of Adam’s sin, all were subject to death. /1 Cor. 15:22/. As St. Paul wrote, “death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.” /Rom. 5:14/ For this reason the period before the advent of Christ is known as an era of darkness, affliction and death. That is why King David prayed, “Stir up Your strength and come and save us.” /Ps. 80:2/ so that the Son of God would come in the flesh and save us from this dark age. Christ’s resurrection enabled the children of Adam to long for judgement day with the hope of resurrection unto life: “We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth.” /2Pet. 3:13/
Through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are delivered into light from darkness, and into life from death. That is why St. Paul said, “O death, where is your sting, O grave where is your victory?” /1Cor. 15:55/ Because of Christ’s resurrection, we have been given the hope of our own resurrection to inherit the eternal kingdom which He prepared for us. Thus St. Peter wrote, “Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away.” /1 Pet 1:3-4/. St. Paul also wrote of the same thing in his epistle to the Ephesians: “Even when we were dead in sins, (God) has quickened us together with Christ, and has raised us up together, made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” /Eph. 2:6-7/
May the grace of His Resurrection and the intercession of His holy mother and the saints be with us.
Education and Apostolate Service Section