The resurrection is essential to the faith. By it, Jesus conquered sin and death and proved His deity conclusively. It is no wonder that Luke records these events with precision.
Joseph of Arimathea, a Sanhedrin member, had not agreed with the decision to put Jesus on trial. We do not know if he believed Jesus was the Messiah. We do know he was “good and upright” and was waiting for the kingdom of God (23:50). Joseph went to Pilate, who was also sympathetic, and asked for Jesus’ body. He was following the law regarding a criminal’s body (Deut. 21:22–23), but he did not treat Jesus’ body as criminal. Instead, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed Him in a new tomb. Because it was Friday (“preparation day” for Sabbath), Joseph finished before sunset.
Some women were watching. They had followed Jesus from Galilee and presumably had been present for His triumphal entry and trial. To their dismay, they watched His crucifixion (Luke 23:49). They vowed to return to cover His body with spices, an act of honor.
Early on Sunday morning, the women returned to the tomb, and what they saw shocked them. Jesus’ body was gone. Suddenly, two men in gleaming robes appeared saying that He had risen. They used the verb tense (aorist passive) which indicated that God was responsible. The angels reminded the women that Jesus had predicted this (24:7). “Must” is the Greek word dei, which alludes to the sovereignty of God’s plan. Luke used the word eighteen times. When
When the women told the disciples the news, the men responded with skepticism. Only Peter wanted to see for himself. When he saw the empty tomb, he went away “wondering” (v. 21). His full conviction would require additional encounters, which were still to come.
>> If you or someone you know would like to learn more about evidence surrounding the resurrection, consider Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ.
Jesus is risen, and we rise with Him into new life. Thank You, God! We do not deserve Your enormous sacrifice; we do not deserve Your patience in changing our hearts to repent. But You love us, and Your grace is sufficient!