Through the Tomb

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Jesus had died late on Wednesday, April 5th in 30 A.D. One day and one night would pass before the late afternoon of the following "high day."

31 Then the Jewish authorities asked Pilate to allow them to break the legs of the men who had been crucified, and to take the bodies down from the crosses. They requested this because it was Friday, and they did not want the bodies to stay on the crosses on the Sabbath, since the coming Sabbath was especially holy. (John 19)

The women had one day, until sunset on Friday, to prepare spices for Jesus' body. They finished their work just before the Sabbath.

55 As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath (the weekly Sabbath) had begun, so they rested as required by the law. (Luke 23:55-56, NLT)

During the period between sunsets on Friday and Saturday, while the people rested on account of the fourth commandment, Jesus' body lay inside a tomb that was sealed. At exactly seventy-two hours after His burial the tomb was suddenly filled with light! Jesus was resurrected back to being a Spirit Being with the glory and power he once possessed.

Picture of Gethsemane
Jesus' Garden Tomb
Where was Jesus crucified?

It was still very dark in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 9th when the women and the others with them got to the garden. It was their first chance, after the weekly Sabbath had completed at sunset on Saturday, to anoint Jesus' body with the spices they had prepared (Mark 16:1).

As they approached the tomb they would be in for the surprise of their entire lives! As they were approaching the tomb a great earthquake occurred. The angel of the Lord had been sent down from heaven to roll away the massive covering stone of Jesus' garden tomb. The Roman guards watching over the tomb trembled with fear and fainted! The angel then told the women not to be afraid as Jesus had ALREADY risen from dead as he stated he would (Matthew 28:1-6).

1. Now late on the Sabbath, as the first day of the weeks was drawing near, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to observe the sepulcher. 2. And in the morning suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3. Now his appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow. 4. And for fear of him, those who were keeping guard trembled, and became as dead men. 5. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are seeking Jesus, Who was crucified. 6. He is not here; for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord Himself was lying. (Matthew 28:1-6, HBFV)

Shaken, the women leave the tomb. They run to find where the disciples, and Peter, were hiding.

Mary Magdalene looked into the tomb and saw two angels - one sitting at the head of the tomb and the other in the place where Jesus feet were lain. Tears streaking her face and her sobs quieted by the shocking sight she saw. And then . . .

14 She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him! 15 'Why are you crying?' he asked her. 'Whom are you looking for?' She thought he was the gardener. 'Sir,' she said, 'if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.' 16 'Mary!' Jesus said. She turned toward him. 'Master!' she exclaimed. (John 20:14-16, TLB)

Jesus, after his brief words to Mary, disappeared.

The Roman soldiers who were charged with guarding the tomb of Jesus ran back to the priests to report all that had happened. The religious leaders, however, were not concerned with what REALLY happened to Jesus' body. They hatched a plan to have the soldiers LIE about what occurred. The leaders told the soldiers to state the LIE that Jesus' disciples came in the middle of night and, without making a sound, rolled the massive tomb sealing stone away and stole his body! This concocted story of the theft of Jesus' body by his disciples is STILL believed by many TODAY who wish to discredit his miraculous resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:11-15).

The false story rapidly spread and has survived to this day. Jesus's first appearance before his disciples caught them totally by surprise.

35. Then they related the things that had happened to them on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread. 36. Now as they were telling these things, Jesus Himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be to you." 37. But they were terrified and filled with fear, thinking that they beheld a spirit. 38. Then He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts come up in your hearts? 39. See My hands and My feet, that it is I. Touch Me and see for yourselves; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me having." 40. And after saying this, He showed them His hands and His feet. (Luke 24:35-40)

Luke later wrote that Jesus had showed Himself alive following His Resurrection by many infallible proofs, being seen by many on different occasions over a 40-day period, and continually explaining things to them concerning the Kingdom of God.

This is the real Jesus. He was crucified, placed in a tomb where He remained for exactly three days and three nights, and was resurrected precisely 72 hours later. This Jesus, the real Jesus of your own Bible, is the kind of person anyone can easily love and obey.

Additional Study Materials
Seven last words of Jesus
Why was Christ born?
Does God have a sense of humor?

Articles in this series

Birth of
Jesus Christ
evil spirits
Through the
Tomb to Eternity

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