Sunday, March 28
Resurrected, not resuscitated!
Scripture: Deuteronomy 19-20, Psalm 37, Matthew 28
Matthew 28:2 There 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.
Only Matthew includes this observation—that an angel rolled back the stone. The other gospels report that the women arrived at the tomb to find the stone already moved.
The angel didn’t move the stone to let Jesus out—He was already out! He moved the stone to let the disciples in so that they could see that Jesus was gone.
Jesus’ resurrection body was not just a resuscitated physical body. It was a resurrected body, a “spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-50) that was no longer bound by the limitations of time and space. The resurrected Jesus could suddenly appear in a locked room, or just as suddenly disappear. Just like locked doors were no obstacle, neither was a sealed tomb! Locked doors couldn’t keep Him out; a sealed tomb couldn’t keep Him in!
The graveclothes (the linen wrappings in which Jesus was buried) were one of the major pieces of evidence that Jesus was resurrected. The disciples found them where Jesus’ body had been, the wrappings that had been around his body collapsed under the weight of the spices, and the wrapping that had been around his head separated from the others. It looked as though Jesus’ dead body had simply evaporated out of the graveclothes, leaving them undisturbed.
The sealed tomb, locked doors, the graveclothes—all indicate that Jesus’ resurrection body was not just a normal body resuscitated, but a different kind of body altogether.
First, this was not what anyone expected. Resuscitation—maybe. We know of some cases. But resurrection to a whole new and unexpected plane of life? Never. They followed the evidence and it led them to an unexpected conclusion: Jesus was resurrected—and His resurrected body was unlike anything they’d ever seen.
Second, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that Jesus’ resurrection is the first, guaranteeing our own. We too will be raised one day to a new plane of life, unbound by some of our physical limitations. I’ll be able to dunk! It’s hard to imagine what it will be like! What a great hope we have!
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for coming back to life—a whole new kind of life that we now have to look forward to!