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As Good as His Word

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the linchpin of the Christian faith. “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said?” Timothy Keller explains. “The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

Early on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary,” went to the tomb. Luke reveals that the “other” Mary was the mother of James the younger (Mark 16:1). Salome, the wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John, was also with them. Their visit was an expression of love more than an act of faith. They did not expect to find the tomb empty. They went with spices to anoint Jesus’ body (Luke 23:56; 24:1). Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had already prepared Jesus’ body for burial with seventy-five pounds of spices on Friday (John 19:38–39). The women may or may not have known this. What is clear is that they were not expecting to find Jesus alive.

Instead, the women found the great stone that covered the tomb rolled away and an angel seated on top of the stone, as if at leisure (v. 2). Perhaps this underscored the fact that the tomb was empty. In his message the angel reminded the women of what Jesus had promised: “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said” (Matt 28:6). As they ran back to announce this good news to the disciples, Jesus met them. This was no apparition or hallucination: “They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him” (v. 9). Jesus rose bodily.

>> The resurrection was a powerful moment that continues to affect our lives today. Because Jesus, who was crucified in weakness, now lives by God’s power, we also live by God’s power. How can this knowledge shape the way you live today?

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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