There are many things that are odd about the resurrection of Jesus, but then again there were many things that are odd about his ministry and his death.
That’s because Jesus never seemed to do things the way other people expected him to.
If I had been Jesus on that Sunday morning, I would have first of all summoned Caiaphas, the Chief Priests, and the whole Sanhedrin. And I would have said to them, “Here I am, losers!”
Then I would have given Pilate a little visit to see how he reacted at this opportunity to renew our acquaintance.
After that, perhaps I would have gone to the centre of power, Rome itself, and announced myself as the new ruler of the world. If that had happened, today there would probably be no-one who would doubt that Jesus rose from the dead. Whether they liked Jesus or not would be another matter.
But it didn’t happen that way, because I’m not Jesus. And the world should be very grateful that I’m not.
The resurrection appearances are really quite so odd. Some sceptics have looked at them and concluded that the resurrection itself should be questioned, because Jesus doesn’t behave the way they think he should. Let’s look at Christ’s first resurrection appearances.
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, who was heartbroken and weeping along at the tomb (John 20:1-2, 17-18; Mark 16:9-11). With great compassion he revealed himself to her and told her to announce his resurrection to the other disciples.
Then Jesus appeared to the rest of the woman who had visited the tomb and who were terrified because they had seen the stone rolled away and had heard the message of the angels who were there (Matt 28:8-10).
Jesus is more interested in telling his disciples that he loves them than in telling others that they are wrong
Jesus also appeared to Cleopas and to another unnamed disciple was they were walking dejectedly to Emmaus to (Luke 24:13-35; Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:34.) They were depressed about what had happened and they didn’t believe what the women had said. However, Jesus walked with them and patiently taught them and in the end, they recognised him.
Jesus also had a one-on-one with Peter (Luke 24:34) who was not together with the other disciples. This was probably because he didn’t consider himself worthy of being with them after his betrayal of the Lord.
That same day, the Lord appeared to the disciples, although Thomas wasn’t with them, and gently convinced them that it was he himself and that he had risen (Matt 24:33-49). Eight days later, Jesus appeared to the disciples again while Thomas was with them, and he encouraged the disbelieving Thomas to accept that he had risen.(John 20:26).
What does all this tell us? Jesus was more interested in comforting his downhearted followers than proving that he was alive. Jesus was more interested in telling his disciples that he loved them than in telling others that they had been wrong. Jesus is more interested in being in the centre of his love than in the centre of power.
Now, that’s a resurrection I can believe in! That is a Saviour I can trust!
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.