Printed in EL Karaza Magazine, April 29, 2005
The rising of Jesus Christ from the dead was the biggest event that shook Jews and they tried to fight it in all ways to the extent that they said about resurrection that this last deception will be stronger than the first deception which is Christ’s Preaching. So what was the power of resurrection and what was its impact?
1- Christ came out of the tomb while it was closed…
This was not strange for Him or for the miraculous power He has. He had also come out of the saint Virgin Mary’s womb with her virginity sealed. Also in His appearances to His disciples after resurrection He came into the place where they were assembled while “the doors were shut” (Jn 20:19).
2- And of His resurrection power, Christ rose from the dead by Himself without anybody
raising Him… All those who were raised before, were raised by others: The son of the Widow of Zarephath of Sidon was revived by Elijah. Also the son of the Shunammite Woman was raised by Elisha. And the daughter of Jairus, the son of the Widow of Nain, and Lazarus were raised by Christ. But Christ Himself rose by Himself because He had the power of resurrection in Him and it was not possible for death to capture Him because He had the life in Him (Jn 1:4).
3- And Christ rose regardless of the tight guarding, the tomb securing, the stone sealing and the large stone which was against the door of the tomb… The worldly power made all its efforts but He was stronger than all this. And His resurrection indicated that He was stronger than all obstacles. His resurrection was a triumph over all His opposers and those fighting against Him, over death, Hades, the large stone, the seals and the sticking strips of linen…
Therefore when St. Paul the apostle knew Him, he said: “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). He knew the power of His resurrection because He saw Him after this resurrection when a Great Light appeared to him on his way to Damascus (Acts 9). Therefore, this apostle trusted in Christ’s resurrection power which made him go into the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death. And this same power in resurrection was experienced by St. John the beloved from Christ when He appeared to Him “and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength” (Rev. 1:16).
His power while He was inside the tomb was stronger than every power standing outside His tomb. He left the tomb on a time that nobody knew, on Sunday at dawn, and the large stone remained in its place until an angel came and rolled back the stone to announce the resurrection which had already happened. And thus, the women were able to see the empty tomb.
4- Scenes of His power after resurrection: These are some of the sides of His power seen by people on Earth, besides His many appearances and the power of ascending to Heaven and sitting at the right hand of the Fr., the power of entering the place where the disciples were assembled while the doors where shut and His power that converted the disciples from weak frightened people to heroes preaching with all their strength and without objection…
And as was His resurrection powerful, there was another power that preceded His resurrection…
5- His power between death and resurrection: This was His power after His death with which He was able to open the doors of Hell, and got out the spirits after He preached the salvation to them (1 Pet. 3:19). With this power He was able to descend to the lower parts of the Earth, to lead captivity captive, to give people gifts of redemption then to ascend also after resurrection far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things (Eph. 4:8-10).
6- The Lord Christ indicated with His resurrection that He was more powerful than death and that His death was not a weakness of Him neither was His silence during His trial a weakness of Him… If He would have talked He would have refuted the listeners and convinced them. But this was not His aim, His aim was to redeem us. Therefore, when they asked Him to descend from the cross He did not although He was capable of doing it… But His aim was to die for us, to go through passions on our behalf, and to pay the price of sin as propitiation and redemption for us…
Resurrection indicated that the silence of Christ was not a weakness…
The power of resurrection was the strongest response to those who accused Christ of being weak and those who thought that the crucifix of Christ was an evidence of His disability!! Through resurrection, it was proved that the silence of Christ had its noble aims. He was silent because He wanted to sacrifice Himself for us… Had He talked, He would have refuted the listeners and convinced them. And if He defended Himself, He would have won the case undoubtedly. For how many times had He responded to the chief priests, Jews elders and their priests and they did not find an answer to respond back… But they saw the power of His word while He was a 12-year old youngster. And the people who heard Him confessed that He was talking with authority.
The silence of Christ in His trial is an evidence that He died willingly.
And He said about Himself that He lay down of Himself, and no one takes it from Him. He has power to lay it down, and He has power to take it again and He lay it down on the crucifix time and took it on the resurrection time. Christ yielded up His spirit out of love and sacrifice and not out of weakness and helplessness. And as He rose in power. We should not forget that He died in power…
He cried out with a loud voice when He yielded up His spirit while His body was extremely worn out, dried out of its blood and water and exhausted from the whipping, walking, beating, bleeding and hanging on the cross…And He died in body… But in His Godhead He was alive and never dying.
In His death, He preached salvation to those who rested in hope, He managed to open the closed Paradise and enter the robber along with Adam and his sons, the Old Testament saints.
He also managed to rise and His resurrection makes fun of the guards and the seals and large stone placed against the tomb door. It did not happen that anyone, other than Christ, defeated death with his own authority alone, rose by His will and came out of a sealed tomb with a large stone on the door and guarded by armed guards.
7- Christ’s power of resurrection was devastating to Jews chief priests and to all Sadducees. It was an evidence of their crime in putting Him to trial and delivering Him to be crucified. Also it was an evidence of the lying of all their former allegation. And by resurrection they become convicted before the people. Therefore, when the disciples started preaching the resurrection in every occasion, the chief priests said to them: “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” (Acts 5:28).
The power of His resurrection also used to frighten the chiefs of Jews because it was an evidence of His righteousness because if He was convicted, He would have never been able to rise. And as was resurrection an evidence of His righteousness, it was at the same time an evidence of the injustice of these chiefs and that they framed Him; those who rejoiced when they thought that they got rid of Him and killed Him.
The talking about His appearances after they killed Him frightened them… And the apostles, the saints, never stopped rebuking them on this point specifically. And so saint Peter the apostle told them after the miracle of healing the lame man: “the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are
witnesses…” (Acts 3:13-15).
8- As for the Sadducees, they do not believe in resurrection. Thus, Christ’s resurrection was a dangerous practical proof on the path their doctrines and teachings were heading. Therefore, they fought resurrection with all their power and fought against the disciples in preaching resurrection. And so the bible says: “Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison…” (Acts 5:17, 18). But the power of resurrection was stronger than all of them and their fighting.
Truly, His resurrection from the dead was stronger than His descending form the cross. Also His resurrection was an evidence that He died willingly and not forcibly.
Especially that He rose by Himself without anyone raising Him. And came out of the tomb while it was sealed as He came out of Virgin Mary’s womb with her virginity sealed… Truly, as He said about Himself that He has power to lay it down, and He has power to take it again (John 10:18).
9- His resurrection was an evidence that He is stronger than death and consequently He is also stronger than all the human power which kills and puts to death.
He was more powerful than the injustice of the evil ones, and all their conspiracies and authority. They did all they could until they condemned Him, nailed Him on the cross and challenged Him mockingly and thought that they won especially that Christ remained all the time of His trial with their challenges silent… “as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent.” (Is. 53:7).
His resurrection indicated that His death was a sacrifice and not by coercion. And to believe in His resurrection means that we believe in His love, sacrifice and redemption to humanity. And this entails believing in His power and in all what He said before about Himself and His relation to the Fr..
This is the power of Him who died in body, and His Godhead was alive and never dying. It is the power of Him who said to St. John in the Revelation “I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev. 1:17, 18). This is the power of Him who rose “having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” (Acts 2:24).
10- And the power of the resurrection of Christ which makes it special than every other raising is that it is a resurrection with no death after it, a continuous eternal resurrection… All those who were raised from the dead, died again and still until now under the authority of death waiting for the common resurrection, but as for Christ, He rose alive to forever and ever, and death has no authority over Him. And thus the Bible called Him “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20)…
11- And of the power of the resurrection of Christ is that it is a glorified resurrection…
He rose with a glorified body that: does not get tired, does not get sick, does not decay, and does not get thirsty or hungry… A body that was able to come out of the sealed tomb and come in with the doors shut and can ascend to Heaven. And we are waiting in the common resurrection to be raised in a body like this too. And as the apostle said: “we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body…” (Phil. 3:20, 21).