The Resurrection of Jesus
1Very early that Sunday morning, the women made their way to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. 10Among them were Mary Magdalene; Joanna; and Mary, Jesus’ mother. 2Arriving at the tomb they discovered that the huge stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside, 3so they went in to look. But the tomb was empty. The body of Jesus was gone!
4They stood there, stunned and perplexed. Suddenly two men in dazzling white robes shining like lightning appeared above them. 5Terrified, the women fell to the ground on their faces.
The men in white said to them, “Why would you look for the living One in a tomb? He is not here, for he has risen! 6Have you forgotten what he said to you while he was still in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man is destined to be handed over to sinful men to be nailed to a cross, and on the third day he will rise again’?”
8All at once they remembered his words. 9Leaving the tomb, they went to break the news to the Eleven and to all the others of what they had seen and heard.
11When the disciples heard the testimony of the women, it made no sense, and they were unable to believe what they heard. 12But Peter jumped up and ran the entire distance to the tomb to see for himself. Stooping down, he looked inside and discovered it was empty! There was only the linen sheet lying there. Staggered by this, he walked away, wondering what it meant.
Jesus Walks to Emmaus
13Later that Sunday, two of Jesus’ disciples were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a journey of about seventeen miles. 14-15They were in the midst of a discussion about all the events of the last few days when Jesus walked up and accompanied them in their journey. 16They were unaware that it was Jesus walking alongside them, for God prevented them from recognizing him.
17-18Jesus said to them, “You seem to be in a deep discussion about something. What are you talking about, so sad and gloomy?”
They stopped, and the one named Cleopas answered, “Haven’t you heard? Are you the only one in Jerusalem unaware of the things that have happened over the last few days?”
19Jesus asked, “What things?”
“The things about Jesus, the Man from Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a mighty prophet of God who performed miracles and wonders. His words were powerful and he had great favor with God and the people. 20-21But three days ago the high priest and the rulers of the people sentenced him to death and had him crucified. We all hoped that he was the one who would redeem and rescue Israel. 22Early this morning, some of the women informed us of something amazing. 23They said they went to the tomb and found it empty. They claimed two angels appeared and told them that Jesus is now alive. 24Some of us went to see for ourselves and found the tomb exactly like the women said. But no one has seen him.”
25Jesus said to them, “Why are you so thick-headed? Why do you find it so hard to believe every word the prophets have spoken? 26Wasn’t it necessary for Christ, the Messiah, to experience all these sufferings and then afterward to enter into his glory?”
27Then he carefully unveiled to them the revelation of himself throughout the Scripture. He started from the beginning and explained the writings of Moses and all the prophets, showing how they wrote of him and revealed the truth about himself.
28As they approached the village, Jesus walked on ahead, telling them he was going on to a distant place. 29They urged him to remain there and pleaded, “Stay with us. It will be dark soon.” So Jesus went with them into the village.
30Joining them at the table for supper, he took bread and blessed it and broke it, then gave it to them. 31All at once their eyes were opened and they realized it was Jesus! Then suddenly, in a flash, Jesus vanished from before their eyes!
32Stunned, they looked at each other and said, “Why didn’t we recognize it was him? Didn’t our hearts burn with the flames of holy passion while we walked beside him? He unveiled for us such profound revelation from the Scriptures!”
33They left at once and hurried back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples. When they found the Eleven and the other disciples all together, 34they overheard them saying, “It’s really true! The Lord has risen from the dead. He even appeared to Peter!” 35Then the two disciples told the others what had happened to them on the road to Emmaus and how Jesus had unveiled himself as he broke bread with them.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
36-37While they were still discussing all of this, Jesus suddenly manifested right in front of their eyes! Startled and terrified, the disciples were convinced they were seeing a ghost. Standing there among them he said, “Be at peace. I am the living God. Don’t be afraid. 38Why would you be so frightened? Don’t let doubt or fear enter your hearts, for I AM! 39Come and gaze upon my pierced hands and feet. See for yourselves, it is I, standing here alive. Touch me and know that my wounds are real. See that I have a body of flesh and bone.” 40He showed them his pierced hands and feet and let them touch his wounds.
41The disciples were ecstatic yet dumbfounded, unable to fully comprehend it.
Knowing that they were still wondering if he was real, Jesus said, “Here, let me show you. Give me something to eat.”
42-43They handed him a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb. And they watched him eat it.
44Then he said to them, “Don’t you remember the words that I spoke to you when I was still with you? I told you that everything written about me would be fulfilled, including all the prophecies from the law of Moses through the Psalms and the writings of the prophets—that they would all find their fulfillment.”
45He supernaturally unlocked their understanding to receive the revelation of the Scriptures, 46then said to them, “Everything that has happened fulfills what was prophesied of me. Christ, the Messiah, was destined to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. 47Now you must go into all the nations and preach repentance and forgiveness of sins so that they will turn to me. Start right here in Jerusalem. 48For you are my witnesses and have seen for yourselves all that has transpired. 49And I will send the fulfillment of the Father’s promise to you. So stay here in the city until the mighty power of heaven falls upon you and wraps around you.”
The Ascension of Jesus
50Jesus led his disciples out to Bethany. He lifted his hands over them and blessed them in his love. 51While he was still speaking out words of love and blessing, he floated off the ground into the sky, ascending into heaven before their very eyes! 52And all they could do was worship him.
Overwhelmed and ecstatic with joy, they made their way back to Jerusalem. 53Every day they went to the temple, praising and worshiping God.