Evidence of The Resurrection
 

Mary Magdalene -- Missionary
to The Apostles

Mary Magdalene loved Jesus very much. He had healed her soul. You see, according to the Gospels -- she had been inhabited by seven demons!

Many have considered her to be a former prostitute, but we can't prove that. We do know that she experienced tremendous anguish of heart! We also know that Jesus gave her a brand new life.

Mary Magdalene and several other women had ministered to Jesus and His disciples out of their own funds.

When Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus buried Jesus, Mary Magdalene and at least one of her friends were watching and saw where Jesus was buried.

So they knew just where to go the next morning while the sun was rising. At least three women friends bought sweet spices to anoint Jesus. Although Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had already prepared Jesus' body with spices and myrrh wrapped in a long linen cloth, these women also wanted to put spices on His body.

The Sabbath was rapidly approaching when all the Jews were ordered to rest, so the women went home and prepared spices and ointments and then rested on the Sabbath when the sun went down that night.

The next morning was the first day of the week. Very early in the morning they came to the grave site and brought the spices they had prepared.

While on their way to the tomb, they were asking one another who would move the huge stone for them.

But when they arrived at the tomb, to their astonishment -- the huge stone had already been moved! What a surprise greeted them! There had been a great earthquake and an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled back the stone from the cave opening, and sat down on it. The angel’s face shone like lightning and his clothes were glistening white like snow.

The guards were terrified and fainted dead away at the sight of this glorious angel!

Apparently the angel that appeared to the guards had left by the time the women arrived at the tomb because the women were very upset to discover that Jesus' body was missing. There was only the empty tomb of Jesus for them to see.

Mary Magdalene ran and found Simon Peter and John and exclaimed, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher and we don't know where they have taken Him!”

Mary followed behind Peter and John as they rushed to the tomb to see what had happened at the grave.

John ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first, but he didn't go in. Peter, however, did go into the tomb.

When John saw the grave clothes lying on the rock shelf where Jesus' body had been, he believed Jesus had risen from the dead. What convinced him?

The grave clothes themselves. They were lying there wrapped round and round glued together with the myrrh and spices like a mummy, but there was no body within the burial shroud. The grave cloth was collapsed like an empty cocoon. The napkin that had been around his head was lying where Jesus‘ head had been. The mummy wrapping around His body was completely undisturbed except for the fact that Jesus' body was no longer within it!

The two disciples left the grave, but Mary Magdalene stayed.

As she and perhaps some of her friends entered the cave where Jesus had been buried, she wondered where His body had been taken! Just then two angels appeared in shining clothing! Apparently at first they saw just one angel and then there were two of the shining beings in the tomb with them!

The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the earth before the shining angels who comforted them with these words, "Don't be afraid -- we know you are looking for Jesus, but why are you looking for the living among the dead?”

“He isn't here! He is risen just as He promised. Come and see the place where the Lord lay.”

“Now go quickly and tell his disciples and Peter that He is alive and is going before you into Galilee. You'll see Him there. Remember what He said to you when He was in Galilee that He must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and three days later rise again?”

Then the women remembered the words of Jesus.

The women got up quickly from the sepulcher and ran to bring the disciples this wonderful news.

As the women were on their way back to the disciples, Jesus Himself met them and greeted them. The women bowed down and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him!

“Don't be afraid,” Jesus said to them, “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee where they will see Me.”

The women ran as fast as they could to bring the disciples this wonderful news.

But the grieving disciples didn't believe them.

The true Mary Magdalene story is a touching one to read from the Bible. I encourage you to investigate it. You'll find out for yourself the truth about Jesus and Mary Magdalene that can change your life too.



The Burial of Christ

It was getting toward the end of the day on which Jesus was crucified. Now what was to be done with His body? As a crucified criminal He would not be entitled to an honorable burial.

But at this point, two rich and influential men stepped out of the shadows and made a public stand for Jesus.

One of them, Joseph of Arimathea, was a wealthy and respected leader among the Jews. He was known for his fair dealings and good character. This honorable man was waiting for the kingdom of God. Although a religious leader himself, Joseph had not agreed with the council's decision to crucify Jesus.

After it was certain that Jesus had died on the cross, Joseph went to Pilate and begged that he be given the body of Jesus, and the governor allowed him to take the corpse.

Another secret disciple joined Joseph that late afternoon and they buried Jesus together. This formerly timid follower was Nicodemus, who was also a religious leader. He had secretly interviewed Jesus at night -- probably so the other religious leaders wouldn't find out about it.

He brought with him about a 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes purchased with his own funds. The two men took the body of Jesus down from the cross and wrapped it in a linen cloth -- winding it round and round with the mixture of myrrh and spices according to the Jewish burial customs of that day.

Then Joseph and Nicodemus placed the body of Jesus in Joseph's own tomb which had been dug out of a rock near a garden. This was a new grave not far from where Jesus had been crucified.

Joseph rolled a large stone in front of the cave and then the two companions left.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus have gone down in history as true friends of Jesus of Nazareth. They risked their reputations to give a proper Jewish burial to a supposed common criminal.

There is often a high price for taking a public stand for Jesus today as well. Those who are truly redeemed will pay the price by God's grace. They will never regret it -- just as I'm sure Joseph and Nicodemus never regretted their public stand either.