When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw an angel dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.’” (Mark 16:1-6)1
Note: Easter this year has passed, but I am still teaching on Christ’s resurrection and reminding people of its impact for us.
Happy 50th Birthday to Cell Phones
April 3, 2023 marks a half century of cell phones, and its inventor was Motorola’s engineer Martin “Marty” Cooper who is now 94. The first cell phone was nicknamed “the Brick,” because it contained 30 circuit boards, stood nine inches tall, weighed 2.5 pounds, and took 10 hours to fully charge. It took Motorola another 10 years to release a commercial cell phone, but few could afford its $3,500 pricetag (about $10,600 in today’s money). Now there are more phones on earth than human beings.2
April this year also marks the 1,990th birthday of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Now Jesus’ followers have instant 24/7 access to speak directly to the only true and living God of the universe through our risen Lord.3 Now we have a lifetime prepaid plan of salvation because of Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection.4 Now He guarantees that He will pray for His followers all through this life, that He will give us power to put away sinful thoughts, words, and deeds, and that when He returns He give us imperishable glorified bodies like His.5 And the list of our benefits goes on and on. Scripture says:
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human mind has conceived
the things God has prepared for those who love Him.
(1 Corinthians 2:9)
Christians believe in Jesus’ resurrection because of the Bible’s true record. We were not there to see these events ourselves, but by faith, given by God the Holy Spirit, we believe the Bible’s accounts. Brooke Foss Westcott said, “Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no single historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ.” Here is a summary of some of those accounts.6
|Event: Jesus Appears to||Date||New Testament References|
|1. Women at empty tomb||Resurrection Sunday||Matt 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-9|
|2. Mary Magdalene at the tomb||Resurrection Sunday||Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18|
|3. Other women||Resurrection Sunday||Matt 28:9-10|
|4. Two disciples on Emmaus road||Resurrection Sunday||Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-32|
|5. Peter in Jerusalem||Resurrection Sunday||Luke 24:34; 1 Cor 15:5|
|6. 10 disciples in upper room||Resurrection Sunday||Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25|
|7. 11 disciples in upper room||Following Sunday||Mark 16:14; John 20:26-31; 1 Cor 15:5|
|8. 7 disciples fishing (Galilee)||One day at daybreak||John 21:1-23|
|9. 11 disciples (Galilee)||Some time later||Matt 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18|
|10. More than 500 people at one time||Some time later||1 Cor 15:6|
|11. James (Jesus’ half brother)||Some time later||1 Cor 15:7|
|12. At His Ascension (Mount of Olives)||40 days after resurrection||Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:3-9|
|13. Stephen at his martyrdom||Several years later||Acts 7:54-60|
|14. Paul on Damascus road||Several years later||Acts 9:1-19; 22:3-16; 26:8-18, 1 Cor 9:1; 15:8f.|
|15. John on island of Patmos||Several years later||Revelation 1:10-19|
Many of these eyewitnesses were martyred because of their claim that Jesus was resurrected in His body. Their lives would probably have been spared if they recanted. Even today, people die for religious beliefs. But these men and women in the New Testament died for a set of facts. They went to their grave rather than say that the facts of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus were true. I believe the Bible’s eyewitness accounts. If you have doubts, ask God the Holy Spirit to help you believe and to worship and serve Christ.
Notes: 1 Matt 28:2 says that it was an angel who told the women of Jesus’ resurrection. Mark 16:5 says it was a young man. I have incorporated Matthew’s reading into this translation. 2 Andrew Paul, “Happy 50th Birthday, Cell Phones,” Popular Science (4-3-23). 3 Heb 4:14-16. 4 Heb 9:11-27. 5 Roman 6:4, 8:344; Phil 3:20-21. 6 This listing is expanded from Spirit of Reformation Study Bible, p. 1692.