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Events After the Death of Jesus

Understanding the significance of Jesus Christ’s resurrection requires examining the key events that followed His death:

1. The Burial of Jesus (Mt 27:57-61, Mk 15:42-47, Lk 23:50-56, Jn 19:38-42)
2. The Guard at the Tomb (Mt 27:62-66)
3. The Resurrection of Jesus (Mt 28:1-10, Mk 16:1-8, Lk 24:1-12, Jn 20:1-10)
4. The Appearance to Mary Magdalene (Mk 16:9-11, Jn 20:11-18)
5. The Appearance to Two Disciples (Mk 16:12-13, Lk 24:13-35)
6. The Appearance to the Disciples in Jerusalem (Lk 24:36-49, Jn 20:19-23)
7. The Report of the Guards (Mt 28:11-15)

Jesus’ Resurrection (Mt 28:1-10)

At the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, several women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and Salome (the mother of Zebedee’s sons), observed from a distance (Mt 27:55-56). After resting on the Sabbath, they brought spices to anoint Jesus’ body early on Sunday morning, only to find the tomb empty because Jesus had risen. Mary of Bethany had anointed Jesus’ body earlier during a dinner held six days before the Last Supper (Jn 12:1-8). This anointing, as Jesus noted, was in preparation for His burial.

The Encounter at the Tomb

Matthew recounts that there was an earthquake as an angel descended, rolled the stone away, and sat upon it. The guards were so frightened that they became like dead men (Mt 28:2-4). The angel told the women not to fear, revealing that Jesus had risen and inviting them to see the empty tomb (Mt 28:5-6). This message mirrored the angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, once again bringing good news to the faithful.

The Role of the Angels

The angel at the tomb, described as having an appearance like lightning and garments as white as snow (Mt 28:3), reminded the women of Jesus’ prophecy regarding His resurrection. Angels had been present at key moments in Jesus’ life, emphasizing the divine orchestration of these events.

The Reaction of the Women and Disciples

The women, though initially frightened, were reassured by the angel and instructed to inform the disciples, including Peter, of the resurrection (Mk 16:7). Despite their initial skepticism, Peter and John later confirmed the resurrection upon seeing the empty tomb and the burial clothes (Jn 20:3-8).

The Resurrection and the Holy Trinity

The resurrection of Jesus was an act involving all three persons of the Holy Trinity. God the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 6:4; Acts 2:24, 32; 10:40; 13:30; Gal 1:1). Jesus Himself proclaimed that He would raise His body (Jn 2:19; 10:18). The Holy Spirit also played a role, as noted by Paul and Peter (Rom 8:11; 1 Pet 3:18).

Resurrection on the Third Day

The “third day” is understood within the Jewish context of Jesus’ time, where even a part of a day was counted as a full day. Jesus’ death on Friday afternoon, the full day of Saturday, and the early morning of Sunday constitutes the three days.


Jesus appeared multiple times after His resurrection:

1. To Mary Magdalene (Jn 20:11-18, Mk 16:9-11).
2. To a group of women (Mt 28:1,9; Mk 16:1; Lk 24:10).
3. To Simon Peter (Lk 24:34, 1 Cor 15:5).
4. To Cleopas and his companion (Lk 24:13-35).
5. To the ten apostles (Jn 20:19-25).
6. To the eleven apostles (Jn 20:26-29).
7. To seven disciples at the Sea of Tiberias (Jn 21:2).
8. To the eleven disciples in Galilee (Mt 28:16-20).
9. To more than five hundred brothers and James (1 Cor 15:6-7).
10. To the apostles before His ascension (Lk 24:50-52, Acts 1:4-9).

Difficulty in Recognizing Jesus

The disciples initially struggled to recognize the resurrected Jesus due to His transformed body, which bore different characteristics from His pre-crucifixion body. Instances of this difficulty are recorded with Mary Magdalene (Jn 20:14-16), the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:16, 31), and the disciples in Jerusalem (Lk 24:37, 41-43).


The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith, affirming His victory over death and the promise of eternal life. As Paul stated, “If Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching; empty, too, your faith” (1 Cor 15:14). This profound event assures us of our future resurrection and calls us to live in the light of eternity, setting our hearts on heavenly goals and living with the hope and assurance of eternal joy in Christ.

Let us remain steadfast in our faith, drawing strength from the resurrection of Jesus, and live our lives as a testament to His transformative power. Our short-term actions should align with our ultimate goal of eternal life, remembering always that Jesus has prepared a place for us in His Father’s house. As believers, let us proclaim the resurrection with confidence, living out our faith with courage and conviction, knowing that our Savior lives and reigns forever.

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