The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Miracle of the Ages

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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Miracle of the Ages

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Certain women among them—including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome—approached the tomb while it was still dark to anoint the body of Jesus with spices, following the custom of the time.

Finding the heavy stone that covered the tomb entrance rolled away, they entered and were shocked and afraid when they saw “a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side.” The man told the women, “He is risen!” and instructed them to go and tell Jesus' other disciples (Mark 16:1-8 Mark 16:1-8 [1] And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. [2] And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came to the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. [3] And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher? [4] And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. [5] And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. [6] And he said to them, Be not affrighted: You seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. [7] But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee: there shall you see him, as he said to you. [8] And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulcher; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
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Mary Magdalene and the other women went to tell Peter and John, who then rushed to the tomb. But the only things they found there were Christ's burial wrappings. After they left, Mary stood weeping and confused, then “turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus” (John 20:14 John 20:14And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
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). She did not recognize someone she knew well. She assumed He was the gardener. What followed next was a startling recognition.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!' She turned and said to Him, ‘Rabboni!' (which is to say, Teacher)” (John 20:16 John 20:16Jesus said to her, Mary. She turned herself, and said to him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
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). The impossible dream came true—the unbelievable had happened!

This particular moment of recognition is perhaps unsurpassed in all of history. A weeping, distraught woman who thinks everything is lost suddenly realizes her Savior is alive and well and standing before her! The wave of emotion that swept over her must have been indescribable. Jesus simply addressed her in the same way He had so many times before while He was still a human being.

Most of us have had the experience of unexpectedly seeing someone we know well whom we have not seen for a long time. The emotion we experience is difficult to adequately describe. But imagine if it were a loved one over whose brutal death we had just been mourning!

And here He was alive again, though no longer as a man of flesh. When God resurrected Jesus to spirit life, He apparently passed right through his burial wrappings as though they were not there.

The apostle Paul tells us that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50 1 Corinthians 15:50Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
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). So Christ's resurrection to eternal life was as a glorified spirit being (Philippians 3:21 Philippians 3:21Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself.
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), of the same divine essence as the Father. Yet Christ's resurrection appearances took a wonderful variety of forms. The Gospel accounts show us that no one recognized Him unless He wanted them to see Him as He was.

And so it was that this woman—Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus had cast seven demons—was the first human being in history to see the resurrected Christ in person and recognize who He was. What an honor!

For us today, what is the real significance of Christ's resurrection?