Focus on Jesus Series The Sequence of the Events After the Resurrection of Christ
by Ed Vasicek
The four Gospels each
contain bits of information about the events occurring after the resurrection of
Jesus Christ. Putting the four accounts together provides us with a detailed
Christ rises from
the dead very early Sunday morning.
A violent earthquake and an angel rolling away the stone and sitting upon it
accompany this event. The guards are traumatized because they have seen this
angel, and they freeze
Mary Magdalene and
another Mary either walk to the tomb
together or they had planned to meet there. When she (or they) arrives, the
stone has been rolled away. (The guards are gone by now.) She returns to find
Peter and John and tells them that someone has moved Jesus’ body
Another group of
women were scheduled to meet the two Marys at the tomb.
They have acquired spices to complete the burial process, which had been
hurried. They are concerned about finding some men to help roll the stone away,
since it was large and needed to be rolled against gravity. To their surprise,
these women see two angels, only one of which speaks, telling them that Jesus
has been raised. The women are scared to death and leave [seeing angels has
Peter and John
arrive after being summoned by Mary Magdalene,
who apparently follows them there. John looks into the tomb, but Peter goes
inside. All he finds are the burial clothes. They return, confused, but Mary
Magdalene apparently stays at the tomb to grieve that someone has removed Jesus’ body
Jesus makes His
first appearance to Mary Magdalene, after Peter and John have left.
At first she supposes Him to be the
gardener, but she is then overjoyed to realize that it is the Lord
Jesus then appears
to these other women who had left before Peter and John had arrived.
These are the women who saw the angels. Jesus tells them to communicate that
the disciples were to prepare to travel to Galilee
The Roman guards
report what they had witnessed to the chief priests.
They were bribed to say that someone
stole the body of Jesus while they were asleep. The priests promised the
soldiers protection from military discipline through their clout
Last week, we noted that the
four Gospels each contain segments of information that, when put together,
provide us with a detailed account of the events occurring after the
resurrection of Jesus Christ. Combining the summary statements with the
specific details provides us with a more detailed harmonization. We looked at
the first eight events last week. Here are some more.
Jesus appears to
Cleopas and his friend
(Luke 24: 13-22,
This is on the afternoon of that first Easter Sunday as these two disciples were
traveling toward Emmaus.
He appeared to the
John 20:19-25) either while Cleopas and his friend were still
there or afterward. The eleven apostles are discussing this claim during the
evening of that same Easter day. They had the doors locked, fearful that the
Jews might plot against them and arrest them.
Jesus appears to the ten
apostles (Thomas is absent), but they presume He is a ghost. He encourages them
to look at His hands, feet, and side. He insists that they touch them. But
this still does not convince the apostles that He is really risen. He eats with
them, and the reality of the resurrection registers with them. They are
overjoyed. Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit upon them.
A week later, on a
Sunday, Jesus appears to the disciples with Thomas present. Doubting Thomas
About two weeks
later, Jesus appears to the disciples while fishing and eats with them. Jesus
gives Peter a chance to “undo” his three denials by three affirmations of his
love for Jesus
There are several other
appearances of Jesus mentioned in
Scripture, including His appearance to a large crowd of over 500
(1 Corinthians 15:6).
He appeared individually to His brother James
(1 Corinthians 15:5)
and Peter. He appeared to Paul after the ascension
(1 Corinthians 15:8).
He also appeared to present the Great Commission
and then during His ascension from the Mount of Olives
As a matter of fact,
Acts 1:3 summarizes as follows: “After his suffering, he
showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of
Why does Jesus eat with
the disciples on several occasions? Is He hungry? No. The reason Christ eats
with them is twofold: first, to convince them that He is physical. They are not
seeing some ghost or apparition. Secondly, food is often associated with
fellowship, like it or not. In almost all cultures, there is something special
about eating a meal together.