What a tumultuous week it had been for Jesus’ disciples. Talk about going through a whirlwind! By Sunday evening, they were practically—almost literally—driven out of their minds.
Each of these men had spent—wasted?—three years in the school of Christ.
But now, suddenly, it was over. This was the end—and now it was time to return to the mundane tasks that had been all but forgotten over the course of the previous years.
But they did not realize that, for each of them, life—real life—was actually just about to begin.
Unexpectedly, Jesus appeared to them—walking into a room with closed doors (see John 20:19, 26). Amazing things were about to happen!
They were about to experience Easter for themselves.
Jesus’ resurrection body had astounding capabilities.
First of all, we must recognize that He was not “a spirit” (Luke 24:37, 39). Jesus was still in a physical body—although now resurrected and glorified.
It appears to me, though, that the characteristics that He displayed here “during forty days” (Acts 1:3) that He spent upon the Earth following His resurrection were not related to His exercise of Divine attributes, and they certainly did not manifest the fullness of His glory as the Son of God (see John 17:5). When He revealed Himself to the Apostle John in that exalted state, His appearance was far different (see Rev. 1:10-20).
"A marble tablet housed in the French National Library, measuring approximately 23.5 in. x 14.8 in. x 2.4 in., has drawn significant attention in recent weeks. Known as the Nazareth Inscription (or Nazareth Tablet), it has been cited as potential archaeological evidence for the biblical accounts of Christ’s resurrection. However, recent reports boldly proclaimed that this tablet is unrelated to early Christianity." - AiG
I remember my mother once saying—quoting her father—that Easter Sunday is a lot like heaven. Perhaps it is the closest thing that we will experience to it here upon the earth.
I cannot prove that statement Biblically, but I have attempted to meditate upon it through the years, and I think there is much truth in it.
Growing up, I was part of a church tradition that placed great emphasis on Easter Sunday—which some strongly prefer to call Resurrection Sunday—and all of the events leading up to it. By the time we got to Holy Week—which I now prefer to call Passion Week—to my young mind it was as if we were really reliving the events of those most awesome days. It was as if Christ truly had to go the way of the cross on Friday, before we found out once again that He “is risen indeed” (Luke 24:34) on Sunday.
These customs made an indelible impact upon me. Good Friday ended with the closing of the Bible and the darkening of the church, and silence. Easter Sunday began with a service at the actual time of sunrise, and that made a point. The day—well, except for the years we had April snowstorms—was truly like a blast of bright, blinding sunlight that overwhelmed the darkness we had left behind on Friday.
Yes, we celebrated Lent. The term Lent triggers strong emotions in two opposing directions among evangelicals. In some quarters, it is making a comeback. Others believe that the mere mention of it is heresy.
A man named Jesus hung on a cross. Prior to that point, this man had endured the rejection of his people, arrest on false pretenses, an illegal trial in which he was falsely accused, beaten and abused, and ultimately condemned to die because of the spiritual arrogance of his accusers.
To the eyes of many, this man was a good teacher, perhaps even a prophet; certainly a healer, and a remarkable leader. But he claimed to be something more—much more. And then this—he hung on a cross to die among the lowest of criminals.
His followers abandoned him for fear of their lives. In the end it appeared he died in complete failure. There was no kingdom, no deliverance. To many it appeared he died humiliated, broken, and completely alone. He even cried out to the God he called his father: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me!?” This Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. But to him belonged the fate of crucifixion.