CONTEMPLATIONS ON THE RESURRECTION
BY H. H. POPE SHENOUDA III
This book is comprised of two principal elements:
1. General - theoretical theology -talks on the resurrection.
This is an ideological trend which falls under the limits of
theoretical theology or the philosophy of the resurrection
written in a good style which suits all denominations.
It, also, explains how resurrection was an essential necessity;
how it was potential and the uses and benefits gained from it
both spiritually and generally.
2. Topics concerning the resurrection of The Lord Jesus
Christ; glory be to Him.
It comprises the events of the resurrection and explains its
power and its effects; how Jesus' resurrection surpasses other
resurrections; the blessedness of this resurrection and its effects
on your life; the joys caused by it and the proofs and
confirmation of its authenticity.
3. Questions related to the resurrection.
A question about the glorified body; a question about the words
of the Lord to Mary Magdalene "Do not hold on to me. "; two
other questions about Saint Peter, the apostle and a question
about the circumstances of the resurrection and to what extent
its events agree with each other.
This last question needs a separate and complete article which
will be delivered on another occasion; God willing.
Now, it suffices to wish you a happy Easter and good returns.
Pope Shenouda III
The Resurrection And Its Spiritual Depth
The Resurrection Is A Wonderful Meeting:
The resurrection is a wonderful meeting between
two united friends who have lived together their whole life
since their birth and even before it, during pregnancy in their
They never separated even for one moment; They are: the body
and the spirit.
Each of them has a special nature; the body is earthly and the
spirit is celestial. They have united in one nature-the human
You cannot separate one from the other and say "This is the
body and that is the spirit."
They have lived together in an admirable unity. The body
expresses all the sensations and feelings of the spirit. If the
spirit becomes glad the body will smile and rejoice. If it
becomes sad, sorrow will appear in the eyes.
After a long life they will separate from one another because of
death but in the end they will meet each other in the
After a long separation they will unite again. I wonder!! how
will the sensations of the spirit be when it meets the body -
the life long partner after hundreds and may be thousands
of years as Adam, Noah and Abraham had done before!?!?
The spirit meets the body after seeing the body change into a
handful of dust. Then returns more radiant than before, without
Even the faults, stuck to the body in the past, disappear. Yes, it
is raised without defects because wrong and evil deeds do not
agree with eternal paradise.
The body returns more friendly. It never disagrees with the
spirit in the other world for it is raised a spiritual body.
The second wonderful meeting in the resurrection is
a meeting of nations and races of the whole history.
It will be a general resurrection since the days of Adam. All
nations and races that lived through generations and centuries,
with their different languages, features and lineaments, with all
their heroes and leaders will meet together and try to be
acquainted and understand each other.
Undoubtedly, they will do so because there will be one language
the language of the spirit or that of the angels.
How wonderful this meeting will be!! It will be the greatest of
all stories and the strangest narrative of long epochs.
The best of all will be the procession of the triumphant and
victorious people who struggled during their life on earth, then
conquered and supported truth and morals.
They will meet together and everyone has a story related by
generations... then the world will become once more one nation
as it had been before parting and dispersion.
I wonder!! how will the meeting of the nations which had
fought with each other be? Will the causes that forced them to
wage wars against each other seem insignificant?
3. The third marvellous meeting is that of the human-
beings with the angels who are made of a nature more eminent
Meeting with them will be one of eternity's happy enjoyment.
4. But the most wonderful meeting with the Lord will
surpass any other meeting in its eminence.
Our meeting with God, blessed is His name, will be the eternal
paradise for there will be no paradisiacal life without Him.
Now my pen stops in silent submissiveness because I am before
a scene which words fail to describe or interpret. It is above the
standard of any language to express or any intelligence to
imagine. Thus, the resurrection is a strange and wonderful
meeting .... and what else?
The Resurrection Is A Miraculous Transition:
1. It is a transition from the limited to the unlimited.
It is an interchange from a life measured with days and years to
an infinite one which has no connection with time.
I wonder! Is there another earth which revolves around itself
and round the sun; and interprets its revolutions into days and
Or shall we rise over time and enter a new world?
Measures of time will come to an end... One moment in eternity
is longer and deeper than the whole life of earth.
The resurrection is also a transition from the visible
to the invisible.
It is an entrance to what is written in the Holy Bible "Eye has
not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
(1 Cor 2:9)
It is an entrance to the spiritual world and a way to the meeting
with the angels, the invisible spirits where joys never known on
earth will take place. Here, the resurrection surpasses all the
grades attained by senses and rises to the realms where the spirit
alone can realise everything.
Thus, the resurrection means transition from the
world of sensation to the world of spirits.
In the resurrection we acquire spiritual senses which differ from
earthly material ones.
The new senses see the spirits and spiritualities and are dazzled
by them. Now, I myself keep silent once more.
Here is a kind of the revelation of human nature when it
becomes conscious of what it could not perceive in the past and
acquire spiritual characteristics not practised before.
In the resurrection the spirit can see the invisible or some of it
or advance gradually in sight moving from spiritual satiety to
more and more fullness in the life of revealment.
4. The resurrection is transition from the world of
falsehood to the life of truth.
From the world of evanescence to the world of immortality.
From a world in which everything will be abolished after a time
to an everlasting world in which there is no falsehood but well
It is a world free from sin where men live with each other in
association very pure, clear and everlasting.
What else about the resurrection?
The Resurrection Is A Multi-Faceted Miracle:
Here appears the miraculous power of God. How will the bodies
be gathered once more after they changed into dust! ?
Isn't it He who created and formed them from dust; from
Dust had been a nonentity before it existed. He who looks
attentively at the resurrection from this side can consider the
limitless power of God, our creator. It is enough for Him to
wish and everything will be accomplished according to His will,
even without an utterance. It is His will which is in root and
essence an effective order, capable of doing everything.
We consider the resurrection a miracle not owing to its
difficulty but because our mind is unable to perceive how it
takes place!! But though the mind fails to comprehend that
matter, yet faith can easily understand it.
Thus, the resurrection is the creed of the believers.
Joy of the Resurrection
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
-An excerpt from His Holiness' book Contemplations on the Resurrection.
The angels proclaimed the news of Christ's resurrection to the women saying, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but He is risen" (Luke 24: 5-6) The news of the risen Christ brought tremendous joy to the disciples, but terrified the Jewish leaders.
As much as the day of the crucifixion was painful emotionally, it was a day of salvation. However, people did not see Christ opening the doors of paradise, they only saw the suffering, insults and nails. As much as the disciples were disturbed and sad on Friday, they were very joyful on Sunday. The promise of the Lord to them was fulfilled when He said, "But I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you" (John 16:22).
Through His resurrection, they rejoiced that the resurrection is possible and realistic. He was the evidence. That is why St. John describes Him, "whom we have seen with our eyes and touched with our hands" (1Jn 1: 1). St. Peter also bears witness that "we have eaten and drank with Him after His resurrection from the dead." (Acts 10: 41). Through the resurrection, the fear of the disciples was turned into courage and indifference to all the powers that were fighting them. All their enemies could do is threaten to kill them, but what can the threat of death do to one who believes in the resurrection and has seen it!
In the resurrection, the disciples felt that they were under the wings of a powerful God. The One in whom they believe holds the keys to life and death. He is the resurrection and the life. He is the source of life, not only on earth. but eternal life also.
The disciples rejoiced because God fulfilled His promise to them, when they saw the promise of His resurrection fulfilled, they were reassured of the outcome of all the other promises, like "I go to prepare a place for you... and I will come again and take you, so that where I am, there you will be also" Jn. 14: 2-3). They believed His promise that He is with us until the end of days (Matt. 28:20). Thus, all His promises gave them power, comfort and joy.
Through the resurrection, the cross became a glorious crown, instead of a symbol of suffering. That is why St. Paul says, "I rejoice 'in weaknesses and insults and persecutions for Christ's sake" (2 Cor. 12: 10). He also says, "we suffer with Him, so we can be glorified with Him also" (Rom. 8:17).
The resurrection of Christ gave believers hope for an afterlife and for an eternal fellowship with Christ. This hope enabled them to put all their treasures in heaven and live as strangers in this world. St. Paul described life in heaven as "what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor entered the mind of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him" (I Cor. 2:9). The resurrection, then, is not an end in itself, but a means to the
end which is everlasting life with God.
The disciples rejoiced for the heavenly body that comes with the resurrection. Christ will raise our bodies also as He Himself rose. Human nature will be glorified in the resurrection from death. St. Paul says that "the body which is sown in corruption will rise in incorruption, and that which is sown in weakness will be raised in power" (I Cor. 15:42-44). He also said that the Lord will change the body of humility into the image of His glorious body (Philippians 3 :21).
The disciples rejoiced because, in the resurrection, Christ revisited them. Christ spent a period of forty days with them, healing their wounds and doubts and forgiving their weaknesses. It was a period to prepare them for the upcoming mission.
The resurrection gave the Christian mission faith and confidence. Confidence in the risen Christ whose disciples lived with Him for forty days after the resurrection, showing Himself to them with many proofs and talking to them about matters of the kingdom of God. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord and their joy became a way of life for them and Christians after them.
He who has faith in God and His power can believe in the
resurrection. He who has faith in God as a creator believes also
that He has raised the dead.
But the apostates intelligence cannot reach that standard. They
do not believe in the resurrection. They have no faith in the
spirit and its immortality. Moreover, they do not believe in God
It Is also a necessary one for justice, serenity and evenness
It is necessary for justice to judge everyone according to his
deeds done during his life on earth-whether good or bad. If
they are good he will be rewarded; if they are evil and bad deeds
he will be punished.
If there had been no resurrection men would have coveted
greedily on worldly pleasures with their corruption and
immorality without any care for what will happen to them in
But believing in the resurrection and the following final
judgement - reward or punishment - is a restraint to men
because they will perceive that justice must prevail in the future
This final judgment will take place after the resurrection
and the unity of the spirits with their bodies.
For it is unjust for the spirit to be judged alone leaving the body
without retribution according to its obedience or disobedience
to the spirit. Thus, the body must rise and the spirit must unite
with it. And before God the two stand together because they
were partners responsible for everything they did on earth.
The resurrection is also necessary for equality.
On earth there is no equality among human beings. There are
the rich and the poor; the happy and the miserable, the one who
lives in ease and comfort and that who suffers torture.
If there is no equality on earth, it will be appropriate to find it in
heaven; and he who does not get his rights on earth can
afterwards get them in heaven and the Lord will compensate
him for what he had lost on earth if his deeds were satisfactory
in the eyes of God.
The story of the rich man and Lazarus in the Holy Bible (Luke
16) presents to us a certain proof about equipoise between life
on earth and life in heaven.
The resurrection is also a very magnificent, thrilling and
It presents to the other world an idealistic life. The ideal man
about whom the philosophers spoke and for whom Diogene
searched but in vain, the man whom scientists fancied in their
imagination, this man is presented by the resurrection to the
other world in which there is no sin, no sorrow, no weeping, no
depravity, no injustice, no deficiency or poverty.
It is a miracle presented by the resurrection. Moreover, it is an
inordinate desire to a life of righteousness, which is ascertained
by the resurrection.
Thus, the resurrection is considered a gladdening miracle.
It is cheering because life is completed by it, for man conquers
death and lives forever.
The eternal life is the dream of the human-race which is
threatened by death from time to time.
Although the life of mankind on earth is short yet it is full of
weariness and affliction.
So great will be the pleasure of man when he gets rid of fatigue
and death and lives happily in eternal paradise.
It is a dream which is ascertained by the resurrection.
Thus, we come to a very important reality.
The Resurrection Is The Gate Of Eternity:
But for the resurrection death would have been a decisive
Evanescence is a dreadful matter. It is a distressing end
which is considered the grimmest tragedy.
But God did not create man for evanescence but for
continuance and life.
If man was exposed to death because of sin God laid before
him the way of salvation.
He raised and rescued him from this death.
When God created man, He gave him something eternal-
Man dies but his spirit does not perish but remains alive. In
this way, man differs from other creatures which live on earth
because their lives are annihilated and come to an end.
Man, by the resurrection, begins another new, endless life.
In this way, man's degree and his preference to other earthly
Because the spirit cannot form a perfect man, it was
necessary for the body to rise and unite with it.
Thus, the eternal life cannot be complete with one part but with
the two parts-the spirit and the body in order that man may
return to life.
Thus, the resurrection is considered a wakefulness after a
By this we mean the wakefulness of the body or that of the
perfect man because the spirit is wakeful forever.
The resurrection is the end of death. No death will come
It is an end to that dreadful enemy.
Man has triumphed over many enemies except death which has
conquered and still conquers humanity as it was the irrefutable
punishment inflicted by God against him when he fell down and
But, by the resurrection, God has saved humanity from that
enemy and exterminated it forever.
Now, we stand before a bridge which separates between two
lives. Death is at its beginning and the resurrection is at its end.
Death is the end of the first life and the resurrection is the
beginning of the other world.
The distance between them is an interval of waiting in which the
spirits of those who had gone away will wait till their brothers
on earth continue their strife and probations.
The eternity presented by the resurrection must be
preceded by the final judgment.
The doomsday will come between the resurrection and eternity
when all human beings stand before the Lord to render an
account of what they did when they were on earth whether
good or bad.
They render an account about every deed, every thought, every
feeling or sensation, every resolution or determination they had,
every word they uttered; then the righteous go to eternal
paradise while the evil doers go into continuos anguish.
So, whilst the resurrection is gladness in regard to the
righteous, it is also a fright to the apostates and evil-doers.
As for the righteous, God arranges their standing once more
according to their past deeds.
He gives every man a new standing according to the purity of
both heart and thought and according to his carrying out God's
commandments and to what extent he could establish the good
and love among people and also, according to his love and
strong desire towards God.
The Necessity Of The Resurrection And Its
The Resurrection Of The Body:
When we speak about the resurrection we mean the rising
of the bodies from death because the spirits are immortal
by nature. Death has neither effect nor power over them.
So, they are not in need of resurrection.
These bodies which change into dust from which God has
created will come back to existence once more. The spirits will
settle down in them and unite with them. All of them will stand
before God in the doomsday - the day of the resurrection - in
order to present an account of what they did on earth whether
good or bad.
It is the dreadful day of final judgment which will be followed
by the eternal termination of all humanity.
It will be either the paradise or the hell according to what one
will deserve in regard to his faith and deeds.
The Resurrection Is A Possible Matter.
The possibility of the resurrection - with no doubt depends on
the plenary and unlimited power of God.
All of us believe that the Almighty God is omnipotent. There is
no limit to His heavenly ability.
However difficult the matter may seem to the renegades and the
unbelievers or to those who depend on thought and science yet
God, without any doubt, is able to raise the bodies from death.
The practice and the operation of the resurrection of the
bodies is easier than creating them previously.
God, who gave these bodies the blessing of existence, is
undoubtedly able to return them, once more, from the dust of
Moreover, God has created everything from nonentity. He
created the earth and its dust from nothingness; and from dust
He created man.
Then, which of them is more difficult: the creation from non-
existence or raising the bodies from dust?
Thus, it is intuitive that he who is able to carry out the most
difficult matter can also execute the easiest one... and He who
caused the creation to exist, can, with stronger reason, keep it.
We say so whatever obstacles and entanglements the
perverts and the apostates and the half-educated savants
and scientists may set before the possibility of the
When I refer to the half-learned men I will declare innocent of
the charge the scientists and the learned men who acquire
The half learned man is a materialist and the resurrection seems
to him and impossible operation.
Meanwhile, he ignores or may be ignorant of the other half of
the truth which is the ability of God.
Half of the truth is that the earth may absorb some of the body's
elements. A part of it may be decomposed or interfere with
other substances or bodies.
The other half of the truth is that the material is imperishable.
Wherever the body may go, its component parts will remain
extant and existing in the earth; the way of all flesh.
The infinite God knows quite well where the origins of the body
are found. He, with His limitless power, can bring them back
once more especially because it is His desire.
At the same time, He promised the human race to rise again
according to the sayings of the prophets and what was
registered in the holy books.
Thus, the resurrection, in its essence and reality, depends
on God, blessed is His name. It depends on His will, His
knowledge and His acquaintance and ability.
As for the will, God wishes man to rise from death. He
promised him the eternal life and spoke of the resurrection,
frankly and very clearly.
As long as God has promised something, there is no doubt that
He will carry out His promise.
As for knowledge and ability, God knows where are the origins
and the elements of the bodies which were decomposed and the
places of their bones.
Moreover, He knows how to form and compose them again.
Indeed He can do all that - great and dignified His great name
is; high and elevated His omnipotent ability is.
With complete faith we believe in the power of our Almighty
He who denies the possibility of the resurrection must,
consequently, deny the creation from nonentity.
He also denies the ability of God as well as His existence.
But the believers, who have faith in God and believe in His
miracles and in the process of creation and the infinite
power of this great Creator, consider the resurrection a
very simple matter, easy to believe in.
The Necessity Of The Resurrection
There is a principal point why the resurrection is necessary and
the understanding of the meaning of perpetuity.
God has promised man an eternal life. His promise was
given to man as a whole and not to the spirit alone which is
a part of man.
If the spirit was given the chance to enjoy perpetuity and eternal
paradise we could not say that man as a whole enjoyed an easy
prosperous life in eternity, but only a part of him which is the
Thus, it is very necessary for the body to rise from death and
consequently the spirit will unite with it to form a complete man
who can enjoy a perpetual life.
But for the resurrection, the end of the human body would
have been the same as that of animals.
Then, what are the characteristics of that wise, living being,
endowed with the faculty of speech whom God has gifted with
the talent of thinking, invention and the ability to build rocket ,
aeroplanes which convey him to the moon and whirl round the
earth, then bring him back safely to it after collecting different
data about other planets ?
Can it be intelligible and reasonable that the body of this
marvellous and admirable man, whom the Lord gave the
mastery over many sides of nature come to the same end of
animals and insects? Indeed, the mind cannot accept that matter
Thus, it is reasonable that the resurrection of the body
keeps pace with man's prestige.
Man is distinguished and chosen out from other creatures which
have bodies. With the gifts given to him by God, he can rule
over them, pay attention to them and take care of them all.
So, the dignity of the body of this wise creature must be
distinguished from the bodies of other unwise and dumb
The rising of the bodies from their graves is also a necessity
incumbent for God's justice.
Man is a wise creature. He has his own will and consequently
he is responsible for his deeds.
He will stand before God to take his recompense, whether
reward or penalty, for what he did during his life on earth.
That deed was done by man, with his body and his spirit
together. So, is it reasonable to judge the spirit alone? or to
judge both of them together?
The spirit and the body are partners in everything, so,
according to God's justice, they, together, have to enjoy the
good reward or carry out the penalty and remain in
The spirit and the body
The body is the systematic organisation of the spirit, or the soul
or the mind.
The spirit has an inclination for doing the good, and the body
takes upon itself carrying out that good. It moves, toils, suffers
hardships and passes the night awake and tolerates.
Isn't this body worthy of a reward for the good role which he
plays and takes part in it with the spirit!? Is right for the spirit
alone to lead an easy and comfortable life while the weariness
and efforts of the body is blown to smithereens? Does such
matter agree with God's justice?
Let us take the soldier in the battlefield as an example .
The soldier's spirit impels him to do reckless adventures; to be a
commando and a redeemer. It forces him to sacrifice himself
for the sake of his country. It is infatuated with love and
patriotism for its homeland and its compatriots.
But the body carries and takes upon its shoulder the whole
burden and pays all the expenses and payments.
It is the body which toils, passes the night awake and struggles.
It is wounded, becomes torn and its blood flows. Is it right for
the spirit; after all these sufferings, to enjoy alone the heavenly
rewards without its partner-the body?
The body seems as if it got neither earth nor heaven!? God's
justice does not agree with this at all.
Thus, it is necessary for the body to rise from death to share the
spirit its joys.
We mention the same question in regard to doing evil deeds
in which the body shares the spirit.
Perhaps the role of the body may exceed that of the spirit.
It is the body which plunges into worldly pleasures as food,
drinking, drunkenness, narcotics, adultery, dancing, sport,
jesting and insult.
After the body gives all these pleasures to its senses, will the
spirit alone pay the price in eternity without any punishment or
recompense to the body?
Certainly the answer is "No" because this does not agree with
God's justice which must judge man as a whole-body and spirit.
So, the body must rise from the death to take his share in
Both the spirit and the body will be judged on the last
judgement because they were partners in everything whether the
spirit was the beginner and the body continued the work or the
body had the bestial passion and the spirit yielded and submitted
and took part in the body's libido and desires.
Let us give you one example about the partnership between
the spirit and the body. It is the eye.
The spirit loves and feels pity for others and sympathises with
them. Both love and sympathy appear in the eye.
The spirit flies into a rage at others or may have an inclination
to revenge itself upon another; so, in the eye, you see the look
of anger or the desire of avengement.
The spirit tends to pray to God. So, in the eye you see the look
of supplication or you may observe the eye brimmed over with
tears owing to the impression of the spirit.
With meek and humble looks, the body enters into partnership
with the meek and modest spirit.
With haughty, insolent and elevated looks, the body shares with
the insolent, elevated and haughty spirit.
As the eye plays its role, so do the features of the face. Also,
the beats of the heart take part as well as the cerebral centres
and other organs of the body.
These are examples about the partnership between the
spirit and the body.
We observe such partnerships in the field of diligence and
energy. The poet explains that and says: "If the spirits are
eminent, the bodies will suffer much to fulfil their aims and
Thus, the reward in eternity will be given to eminent spirits
which had the good will and insisted to do the good. It will be
given also to the body which took upon its shoulder carrying
out these good deeds; that body which toiled, struggled,
suffered much and was patient in order that it might fulfil the
Thus, as the body took part in the spirit's deeds it must rise to
share her the reward or the punishment and to carry the
responsibility because recompense will be for man as a whole.
Even on earth, we also repay the body and at the same time
we consider this as a reward to the spirit also.
Don't we venerate the bodies of the saints and the righteous?
Don't we visit their tombs and put flowers and roses on them?
Don't we pray for them?
We do not consider all these deeds mere respect to the body or
to the bones or to the corpse or to dust but to man as a whole
because with such deeds we greet the spirit as well.
Man is one unity. He is indivisible.
If he is worthy of honour and respect, we shall treat his body
with deference and salute his spirit as well.
If he is unworthy of honour, we will pay no attention either to
his body or to his spirit.
The bodies of the criminals who are sentenced to death or
prison will obtain their punishment. At the same time, bad
reputation will cling to their spirits which will be affected by
what has happened to their bodies.
If our earthly justice acts in such a manner, now much the
more the heavenly justice will be?
God's justice prevails man as one unity-spirit and body. Thus,
the body which lived on earth and shared the spirit every action
The body was affected by the spirit's conditions, by its thought,
by its sensation or reverential fear and the body bows
spontaneously in submission.
When the spirit mourns the eye will weep and sorrow will
appear on the face and in the movements of the body.
When the spirit rejoices the smile will appear on the features.
When the spirit becomes afraid the body will shiver and fear will
overcome the face.
When the self is blushing the body will perspire and shyness
may appear on his features.
Both spirit and body are partners in everything. So, it is unjust
to let the spirit by itself or the body alone bear the responsibility
of that partnership.
The two are responsible and that is what will happen on the last
From the style of some of those who deny the resurrection,
it seems that they disdain the body.
They consider it a material element while they esteem the spirit
to have an essence which vies in excellence with the body's
But we say that although man is formed of two natures:
material nature and spiritual one, yet both of them are united
together in one nature which is known as "The human nature"
The body is not evil; otherwise God would not have created
The evil is the submission of the body to the material with its
desires and bestial passions. In this yielding, the spirit takes
We must not forget that the body has its virtues and advantages.
He bows during the prayers. He kneels down and raises his
hands and eyes to God. He fasts and toils and does the good.
It is the body who sacrifices himself for the sake of his country.
It is he who stretches his hand and gives the poor and the
Then, why do we reduce and lessen his important standing?
Aren't the artist's fingers which play the musical instrument and
affect and move the hearts to be benevolent and charitable?
Aren't his fingers which cut out the statues, carve the wood,
make pictures, paint portraits and present the art with which
they direct the hearts towards the good?
Thus, the body itself is not evil; but it can work in the field of
both good and evil.
The spirit can also work in the same field. Thus, they become
Moreover, it is just for the bodies to rise from death in
order to be compensated for what they had been deprived
of, during their life on earth.
It is just for the bodies of the blind, for example, and the
disabled, the crippled, the disfigured and persons whose bodies
were so unlucky that they had no touch of beauty, no sign of
health, no trace of power to rise on the last judgement without
any shortage or deficiency in order that God may compensate
them for the sufferings and deficit they had on earth.
All those, whose bodies were affected by poverty, hardship,
hunger and illness during their life on earth, need to rise in
soundness which will compensate them for the misery they
suffered on earth.
This agrees with God's justice.
We rejoice with the resurrection and perceive that it is
necessary, essential and possible.
Christ's resurrection was the first-fruit of the resurrection of all
The Concept And Significance Of The Resurrection
Death is an alien and a stranger to humanity
When God created man He formed him for life. He breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being.
God wished him life and perpetuity but man's option inclined to
So he brought death and caused it to himself as a result of his
sin. "For the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23)
Thus, death came into the world and reigned over humanity.
So, we rejoice with the resurrection because it is a triumph
over death and a return of man's nature to life.
God has created man to live and not to die.
Christ's resurrection is a handsel of our resurrection. Thus saint
Paul, the apostle, described Him as "The first-fruits of those
who have fallen asleep". (1 Cor 15:20)
He is the first-fruit and we will rise after him.
Perhaps someone may ask saying "How can Christ be the first-
fruit of the dead while many rose before Him? "
The son of the widow in Zarephath in the region of
Sidon whom Elijah, the prophet, raised from death (1 Kin
2. The son of the Shunammite who Elisha, the prophet,
raised from death. (2 Kin 4:32-36)
3. There are three others whom the Lord Jesus Christ
Himself raised from death. They are:
a) The son of the widow of the town called "Nain".
b) The daughter of Jairus.
In fact, there are some persons who rose from death before
the days of Christ but, after their rising, they died once
more. They are still waiting for the general resurrection.
Christ's resurrection was the one after which there was no
death. It was the first-fruit and the inordinate desire for
which longs every believer in eternity.
We mean by the resurrection the way which leads to eternal life.
We know that man's life on earth is a very short story. It is
nothing if measured or compared to eternity and the land of the
Joy which is the good hope and the dream of all human beings.
The resurrection elevates the value of man and asserts that
his life is not ended by death.
It affirms that there is another life which differs from this earthly
one. We, God willing, will enjoy that new life after the
Thus we say in "The Creed" which we recite every day in our
prayers "and we are waiting for the resurrection of the dead and
the eternal life as well, Amen."
So, we may say that the most important events of the
resurrection are those which will follow it.
The resurrection shows that there is an extension to man's life in
eternity. It proves that death is a mere stage of the journey of
man's life. It is a bridge between two lives: an earthly life and a
Undoubtedly, the heavenly life is far better than the
earthly one because it will be in heaven above any material
It will be pure and without any sin.
Moreover, it will be an association will God, His angels and His
saints. The holy Bible says about it "Eye has not seen, nor ear
heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which
God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Cor 2:9).
So, Mar Isaac said "Fear of death disturbs the heart of the
ignorant but the righteous longs for death as he loves life ".
Thus, Saint Paul, the apostle said "having a desire to depart
and be with Christ, which is far better. " (Phil 1:23)
Indeed, death becomes inordinate desire to those who love God
and the life in heaven. They consider it far more better than life
on earth which has lost its purity.
Those, who believe in the resurrection, do not consider death as
an end of life but a removal to another life.
The resurrection has changed people's look in regard to
death. It is a mere transition or a bridge which leads to
You can say that it is an ascent operation.
Thus, death has become the inordinate desire of the
The apprehension of death fell down forever after Christ had
trodden down death by His resurrection.
Saints do not fear death any longer. They pay no attention to
its causes as illness and conspiracies and aggression of the
He who fears death is the sinner who has not turned from sin.
He becomes afraid of his destiny and the last judgement when
he will stand before God.
The sinner, who practises certain desires and bestial passions,
fears death lest it should deprive him of such lusts. But the
righteous never fears death because he believes in the
The resurrection is connected with faith. The heretics, for
example, do not believe in the resurrection.
The believer believes that God has the ability to raise the body
from death. He who has created human-beings from dust and
made dust from nothingness can bring the body back to life in
order to return and unite with the spirit.
The apostates do not believe in the spirit's existence or its
perpetuity after death. They do not believe in eternity or in
recompense and punishment. So, I said that the resurrection is
connected with faith.
Believing in the resurrection leads to the life of
righteousness and virtue.
The believer believes that in the dreadful last judgement he will
stand before God to give an account for all his past deeds
whether good or bad.
Thus, this faith leads him to be cautious and precision in his life
for fear of the final judgment.
Consequently, he reckons himself up for every deed, every
thought, every sensation and every word; then, he reforms
himself as Saint Maccarius said "My brother, restrain yourself
before they check you."
The true faith in the resurrection leads to the life of
religious devotion and monasticism.
The resurrection drew men's attention to the glories of the other
world; thus, the evanescent enjoyment of this perishable world
By their extravagant thinking in the invisible they paid no
attention to the tangible and visible things.
They became as the Bible said " while we do not look at the
things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For
the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which
are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor 4:18).
But for the resurrection, men would have coveted greedily
on the earthly life and plunged in its inordinate desires as
the Epicurians used to say "Let us eat and drink, for to-
morrow we die." (1 Cor 15:32)
Those who believe in the resurrection and prepare themselves
for it control themselves and keep down their desires and
They practise spiritual training to make themselves right. They
do not yield to bodily or material desires but lead a spiritual life
and suppress their bodies, their senses and their nerves.
Love of eternity made the righteous long for something
greater and more eminent than the world.
Everything in the world cannot satisfy or fill them because, from
within, there is a strong desire for heaven and a great longing
for the spiritual and happy life which exceeds sensation and
intelligence and excels all earthly desires.
Thus, the saints looked at the earth as an expatriation and
considered themselves strangers on it.
They always long for a heavenly home; long for another
different spiritual and heavenly life which no eye has seen.
They longed for the other world which is adorned with holiness,
innocence, spirituality, peace, love and purity. There, God fills
the hearts and there is no place for any other desire.
In the resurrection, there is a kind of consolation and
compensation for men.
He who does not find justice on earth feels that his rights are
kept for him in heaven with the Lord who gives sentence in
favour of the oppressed.
He who does not find the good on earth, as poor Lazarus, is
consoled because he will find all the good in heaven. As he was
tormented on earth he will find consolation in heaven.
The resurrection makes equipoise for the life of every man.
Justice makes a balance between all that man has got on earth
and what he will get in heaven.
The resurrection offers a true consolation to all friends and
lovers because it will gather them together once more after
death separates them.
If life came to an end in the tomb without resurrection our dear
friends who had passed away would perish. Our relationship
would be all over with them and we would never see them.
Undoubtedly, this case wearies the heart and causes disaster to
lovers who will lose their friends forever.
The resurrection gives us an idea about the power of God
and His love to man.
This powerful loving God who can raise the bodies after they have
been decomposed and changed into dust and who is able to bring them
back to their first form in a kind of transfiguration- spirituality and
luminosity - did not wish to enjoy the Cosmos alone but created other
He did not like to be alone in eternity, so, He bestowed perpetuity
upon both men and angels and granted human beings an eternal life
after rising from death.
One of the enjoyment of the resurrection is cessation of evil and all
that sin has caused.
In paradise where the righteous live, there is neither evil nor sin. Our
sins will come to an end. We will lead the life of plenary plainness
and complete purity and cleanness.
We will be like angels and children in their innocence. The soul will
get rid of the blemishes caused by sin as fear, doubt, lust, anxiety etc.
Then, the soul will be adorned with the crown of righteousness. All
defects whether psychic or corporal will vanish.
The Message Of The Resurrection
As we rejoice at Christ's resurrection, we also delight in the
resurrection itself, I mean the resurrection of all human beings.
We, also rejoice at the profound, spiritual and good points of
the resurrection which elevate the value of humanity and show
clearly the good and the enjoyment the Lord has prepared for
man in the other world.
First, we say that the resurrection is an indication to faith.
Undoubtedly, it refers to man's faith in God, and man's faith in
spirit and in eternity as well as the other world. It shows his
faith in the general last judgement which will be after the
The resurrection clears up man's faith in reward and punishment
and consequently his belief in heaven, in saints and in God's
Because the apostates believe neither in the resurrection nor in
the other world, they consider Nian's life equal to that of
animals saying that both of them perish and come to an end by
means of death.
Indeed, how worthless and significant the life of both man and
animal, which ends in death is, in the eyes of the apostates.
Surely, man's life will be of no importance if he is content with
some years spent on this planet and no more!
How inexorable and ugly death is in the eyes of those apostates.
It is like an eraser which effaces existence, intelligence and
knowledge of human beings and annihilates and leads them to
Like the apostates are the Sadducees about whom the Holy
Bible said that they did not believe in the resurrection or the
spirit or the angels.
The Epicureans are no less ignorant than the apostates. They
say "Let us drink and eat because we will die to-morrow".
Undoubtedly, the devil is the cause of repudiating the
It is he who inspires the apostates, whether philosophers or
ignorant, with such pretension.
If he succeeds in convincing them with the idea that there is no
life after death, then, they will plunge themselves into mundane
life with its anxieties and pleasures without thinking neither in
their eternity nor in their standing before God in the last
judgement. In this way they perish.
But the believers who have faith in God, believe in the
resurrection and the Last Day.
The resurrection shows the unlimited capability of God.
All the abilities of man stand still before death. Both his power
of intelligence and science and even his mind seem helpless
before its potency.
But the Holy Bible teaches us that "With men it is impossible,
but not with God; for with God all things are possible." (Mark
God is omnipotent. Both life and death are at His hand. He
vitalises and He Himself puts to death. He can raise man from
As He has created him from the dust of earth, He can bring him
back to life after the incorporation of his body into death inside
the dust of the earth.
God, who has the ability to create everything from nothingness,
can also raise man from death.
The resurrection proves God's love as well as his
God, who did not wish to be alone in the Universe, has
originated and created creatures amongst which was man.
But after man's death, God did not wish him to perish and
through His love and His generosity donated him life after death
in order that his existence might be incessant, not for a time but
Thus, God has endowed the mortal man with immortality.
The resurrection is something gladdening. By means of it,
men will meet with their friends and loved ones who departed
from this life.
What will be the case of the lovers whose hearts unite together
during their life on earth and are separated afterwards by death?
I wonder!! Will it be an eternal separation without any
connection or meeting in future?
Of course, God's love and mercy do not tolerate that matter.
After death, the spirits of lovers and friends will meet together
but after the resurrection they will see each other with their
bodies and spirits.
It will be a general meeting in which, not only shall we meet
with our friends, but also with all generations that passed
After the resurrection, there will be a great festival, made by
God, in which all men will become acquainted with one another.
In this wonderful festival we shall be acquainted with all
historical personalities about whom we have read without
seeing them or knowing their shapes or their styles and dialects
whether they were governors or rulers, or scholarly or idealists.
Perhaps God may send His angels to acquaint us with all the
Fathers and apostles and also, we shall see fathers Adam, Noah,
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Job.
We shall also see our mothers Eve, Sarah, Elizabeth, Rebecca,
Rachel and in the front our mother Saint Mary the Virgin.
The resurrection presents to us many other joys as the
association with the angels and the saints. Above them all, the
enjoyment of being in the presence of God Himself, before
which the mind becomes so astonished and delighted that a
person cannot express himself. It is sufficient for him to relish
and enjoy its sweetness.
The resurrection carries within itself an operation of
equipoise and compensation.
Those who did not receive their merits on earth will get them
completely in heaven after the resurrection and those whom the
human race treated with injustice will receive complete heavenly
justice as well.
Also, those who offered their charities in secret, without telling
any one, will get their reward in heaven because God used to
record their good deeds in order to reward them.
God will also repay all those who were not rewarded on earth
for their good deeds.
In the resurrection men will perceive that God's judgments
differ from those of men and that His justice will be
completed in heaven.
Moreover, those who were born under certain circumstances or
in special environments which could not guarantee for them
happiness and social equality, will be compensated by God for
everything they could not get on earth. See the story of the rich
man and Lazarus. (Luke 16)
In the resurrection man is brought back to his first rank.
His spirit restores its dignity and the body gets back its
Moreover, the body as well as the soul will have a kind of
revelation and glory. Both of them will get rid of their
Thus, the Holy Bible said about the body "It is sown in
dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is
raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a
spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual
body. " (1 Cor 15:43,44)
By the resurrection, the body gets rid of all its illnesses,
infirmities and deformities. It appears in full radiance.
The soul also will be cleared of its sickness and defects.
There will be no fear, no doubt, no hesitation, no anxiety, no
libido, no bestial passions and no cowardice ... etc.
The philosophers, who used to search for the superman will
find him in the resurrection.
The man of the resurrection will be in his best form. All will
have luminary bodies. Everyone will shine according to his own
The dream of humanity will be ascertained and a righteous
complete society will come to existence.
In the city of God about which Saint Augustine has given some
descriptions, there are no combats, no dissension, no
disagreements, no hatred, no selfishness and no competition. It
will be a society of love and sanctity.
In the resurrection men lead a simple and innocent life. The
Bible says they become like God's angels in heaven.
In it, sin vanishes and the body yields no more to it or to
The body is completely cleansed from sin. God washes it till it
becomes whiter than snow (Psalm 50).
Thus, man lives in a spiritual standard fit for heaven and its
In the resurrection, the indigenous obtains victory over the
Truth overcomes falsehood because truth is the former and the
origin while the untruth is foreigner and exotic in regard to this
In the resurrection life triumphs over death, because life is
the origin and the source while death is a stranger.
Man is composed of a spirit and a body. The spirit is living and
active by its nature and will remain, so, forever but the body,
which was disposed to death when it was on earth, will become
an immortal, animate and spiritual one after the resurrection.
Man will have a spiritual perception. He will never depend on
his bodily senses.
Thus, man struggles and does his best on earth in order that he
may enjoy the glories of the resurrection.
But not all men will enjoy such glories. They will only be for
the worthy because, after the resurrection, there will come the
Last Judgement in which all peoples will stand before the Just
God "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with
Me, to give to every one according to his work." (Rev 22:12).
Blessed is the one who becomes worthy of the glories of
eternity and the happy companion-ship with the saints.
Everyone, with strenuous effort, must do his best to make
good deeds on earth in order that he may find them there.
Everyone must be in good relationship with God and with men.
He must be dutiful both to himself and to the society in which
He must do good to all. So, he will have good reminiscence on
earth and good reward in heaven.
For All Reasons, It Was Necessary For Christ To Rise
It was necessary for Christ to rise because in Him
So, said Saint John, the Evangelist "in Him was life" (John
1:4). He who has life in Him cannot remain dead.
He said to Martha "I am the resurrection and the life. He who
believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." (John 11:25)
As long as He Himself is life, how can't He rise? Jesus confirms
this meaning saying "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John
How can't He rise, He who said to John, the Visionary, "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 1:18)
For these reasons, the angel of the resurrection rebuked the
women saying "Why do you seek the living among the dead?"
It was necessary for Christ to rise from death
because He Himself has raised many others from death
with a mere command.
Elijah has raised a dead person after prayers. Also, Elisha has
raised a man from death but after many prayers.
But The Lord Jesus Christ, with an order, raised the daughter of
Jairus and the son of the widow of Nain as well as Lazarus
because He is the Donor of life. On raising the daughter of
Jairus "He took her by hand and said to her "Talitha kowmi!"
(which means "Little girl, I say to you, get up!") Immediately
the girl stood up and walked around. (Mark 5:4,42)
On raising the son of the widow of Nain, He went up and
touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said
"Young man, I say to you, arise." So he who was dead sat up
and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. (Luke
On raising Lazarus Now when He had said these things, He
cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" And he who
had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and
his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose
him, and let him go." (John 11:43,44).
Then; Was it difficult for Jesus to rise? He who ordered the
dead to rise and they rose?
Indeed, it was necessary for Him to rise because He is the raiser
of the dead. Yes, it was necessary for Him to rise as it was
written about Him "For as the Father raises the dead and
gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He
will." (John 5:21)
Can't He who gives life to others raise Himself?
3. It was necessary for Jesus to rise because His
resurrection was a prophecy which had to be fulfilled.
After Peter's testimony that Jesus is the Son of God, the Bible
says "From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that
He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the
elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be
raised the third day." (Matt 16:21)
After the miracle of the Transfiguration and as they were
coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them "Now as they
came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying,
"Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the
Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them,
"The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men,
and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up."
And they were exceedingly sorrowful." (Matt 17:22,23).
After He had explained the parable of the vineyard, and as He
was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside
and said to them, "Now while they were staying in Galilee,
Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed
into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day
He will be raised up." And they were exceedingly sorrowful."
(Matt 20: 18,19) (Luke 9:31-33).
After the resurrection, men began to remember all those
topics and remind each other of them.
But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be
afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is
not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place
where the Lord lay." (Matt 28:5,6)
The phrase "as He said" means the prophecies He had
mentioned about His resurrection on the third day. In the Old
Testament, there are other prophecies about His rising from
Thus, after His resurrection, The Lord Jesus Christ said to His
disciples "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was
still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were
written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms
concerning Me. And He opened their understanding, that they
might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, "Thus
it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer
and to rise from the dead the third day. " (Luke 24:44-46)
In the Old Testament, the story of the prophet Jonah, is
one of the indications which refers to this resurrection.
When the Jews said to Jesus "Teacher, we want to see a
miraculous sign from You. " He answered and said to them,
"An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no
sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the
great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three
nights in the heart of the earth. (Matt 12:39,40)
It was necessary for Christ to rise because His
resurrection was under His own influence and authority.
He died by His own will. He presented Himself to death.
In His immortal words, He explained that matter saying
"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life
that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it
down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power
to take it again. This command I have received from My
Father." (John 10:17,18).
Indeed, how wonderful is this phrase!! "and I have power to
take it again" which means "I have authority to take back the
life which I Myself had laid, and no-one could take it from Me".
For these reasons, it was necessary for Him to rise by His own
We may ask a question: Why did He lay Himself? What is the
use of that matter in regard to the resurrection?
5. It was necessary for Him to rise because His death
was a mere temporary one to perform a double message.
It was possible for him not to die according to His nature and
also "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. " (Rom 6:23).
Moreover he did not commit any sin. He accepted to die instead
of us in order to give His life for us as the apostle said " being
justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His
blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness,
because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that
were previously committed. " (Rom 3:24,25)
This was the chief message of death; I mean redemption
After the resurrection, it was also necessary for Him to go and
announce good news to those who died in hope and open the
gate of paradise and transfer the sleeping from hell to heaven.
About this matter, Saint Peter says " For Christ also suffered
once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to
God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the
Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in
prison. " (1 Pet 3:18,19).
Yes, He preached those spirits with salvation and carried them
to paradise as well as the right thief.
Saint Paul, the apostle, says " Now this, "He ascended"; what
does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower
parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who
ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all
things." (Eph 4:9, 1 0)
6. It was necessary for Christ to rise because His divine
nature was never separated from His human nature not
even for a twinkling of an eye.
About His death, the Syrian Division says "His spirit was
separated from His body but His divine nature was not
separated at all from His spirit or from His body.
His spirit which was united with His divine nature went down to
the underground depths and preached the imprisoned spirits and
elevated them to heaven. His body remained in the tomb united
with His divine nature.
As for the separation of the spirit from the body, He died as a
human being but He was alive with His spirit.
He had the life of the divine nature for which Nicodemus, when
he was shrouding him, cried "The all holy, the all powerful, the
living forever. "
Yes, it was necessary for that body, which united with the
divine nature, to rise. It was impossible for the Body to
Death could not overcome The Lord Jesus Christ. It was
impossible for it to defeat Him. By His death, Christ
Himself trampled over that death which triumphed over all
The Lord died on behalf of us to save us. He paid the price
of our sins and in this way He did away with the influence
Thus, it was necessary for this one who, by his
death, exterminated the power of death, to rise.
It was necessary for Him to rise in order that He might proclaim
His victory over death by His resurrection and to announce to
all peoples that death would have no sting according to the
praise of Paul, the apostle "O Death, where is your sting? O
Hades, where is your victory?" (1 Cor 15:55)
It was necessary for Christ to rise in order to console
and support the disciples.
It was necessary for Him to rise to obliterate the horrible results
of His crucifixion because some of the disciples became afraid
and others hid in the attic.
The rest of the believers dispersed for fear of the violence of the
Some ignored and denied Him; others mistrusted Him, but it
was necessary for Christ to rise in order to repair and overhaul
people's faith and to encourage them to remain firm in their faith
and to hold out against Jews' persecution.
Thus, His resurrection was the greatest motive which urged
them to preach the Gospel.
It was necessary for Him to rise to prove that he was
not a common man who dies as other people.
All men die and remain dead waiting for the general
resurrection in order to rise but it was necessary for The Lord
Jesus Christ to rise immediately, otherwise, they would have
considered Him a common man. His resurrection has proved
His divinity especially because He rose by Himself without any
help from anyone.
It was necessary for Him to rise to be the first fruits
according to which all men will rise.
So, Saint Paul said " But now Christ is risen from the dead, and
has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For
since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection
of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall
be made alive. " (1 Cor 15:20-22)
He also speaks of the importance of the resurrection of Christ
and says " And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are
still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in
Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ,
we are of all men the most pitiable. " (1 Cor 15:17-19).
It was necessary for Christ to rise in order to lay the
foundation of Christianity.
And to stay with the disciples a period of forty days through
which He speaks with them about the matters which belong to
the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3) and to lay before them the rules
of faith and give them the secrets and the rituals and to breathe
on them saying " And when He had said this, He breathed on
them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive
the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of
any, they are retained." (John 20:22,23).
Then He promises them saying "But you shall receive power
when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be
witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
After that, He commits to them preaching the Gospel saying:
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does
not believe will be condemned. " (Mark 16:15,16)
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have
commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end
of the age." (Matt 28:19,20)
The Reality Of Christ's Resurrection And Its
The Jews' opposition to the resurrection
Christ's resurrection from amongst the dead was the greatest
occurrence which shook the entity of the Jews. So, they tried,
by all means, to resist it.
Moreover, they tried to oppose the resurrection before its
happening. Even after it had taken place, they made great
attempts to resist it.
Before His crucifixion, The Lord Jesus Christ had announced
the good news of His resurrection. More than one time, he said
to His disciples that the Son of Man would be betrayed and
given to the hands of the Gentiles who would condemn Him to
death and would turn Him over to the Jews to be mocked and
flogged and crucified. On the third day He would be raised to
He said these words while they were going to Jerusalem. (Matt
20:18,19); (Mark 10:33,34); (Luke 18:31-33). He, also, said
the same words on their way to Galilee. (Matt 17:22). He
repeated these words after Peter's confession that Christ is the
Son of the living God. (Matt 16:21).
So after the transfiguration He ordered them not to tell anyone
what they had seen " ... tell no one the things they had seen, till
the Son of Man had risen from the dead. " (Mark 9:9)
He, also, said to them on the great Thursday I have power to
take it again "But after I have been raised, I will go before you
to Galilee." (Mark 14:28). Moreover, he gave them the sign of
Jonah. (Matt 12:38)
On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the
chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying,
"Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver
said, 'After three days I will rise.' Therefore command that the
tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples
come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, 'He
has risen from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse
than the first." (Matt 27:62-64)
What was that fearful evil which the resurrection would
bring to them that they imagined it more dangerous than
the instructions of Christ whom they gave the nickname
"The first deception".
Christ's resurrection proved His truthfulness and that His
prophecies were true. It proved that He was powerful and
His crucifixion was not due to His weakness but it was an
arrangement for saving humanity.
All the matters lead men to have fixed and firm faith in
So, they made all precautions against the rising of Christ. They
rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb.
They made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and
posting the guard (Matt 28:66) They were not ashamed of
doing that on the Sabbath evening (After preparation) although
they accused The Lord Jesus Christ of opening the blind's eyes
on a Sabbath. (John 9:16:24)
All their precautions became a great evidence in regard to
Christ's rising from among the dead.
Every action made against the resurrection turned to be a
proof and a witness for its existence.
Both the seal on the tomb and the guards in front of the empty
tomb proved the reality of Christ's resurrection.
They also asserted that Jesus went out of the tomb while its
entrance was closed and sealed.
This matter resembled Jesus' coming of Saint Mary's womb
without causing any decoration to her virginity. It also
resembled Jesus' visit to His disciples, who were together, with
the doors locked, when He came and stood among them and
said "Peace be with you. "
As for the bribe paid by the chief priests to the guards in
order to announce that Christ's disciples carried Him away
during their sleep, it was a false artifice which was too
Weak to stand against the power of the resurrection.
The burial cloth of the head and the shrouds
The existence of the strips of linen lying by themselves and the
burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head folded by itself
separate from the linen are clear proofs of the reality of the
resurrection. Then; how was it possible for Jesus to get out of
these linen shrouds which were wrapped strictly around His
And if anyone had stolen the body how could He have
denudated it from the strips of linen sticking to it?
And what is the aim and the use of separating the linen cloth
from the body? How did this event take place very quietly
while the soldiers were on guard?
Thus, it is not strange to read in the Bible that " Then the other
disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw
and believed. " (John 20:8)
The Lie Concocted About The Stealing Of The
It is incomprehensible for any-one to believe that the disciples
stole Christ's body because they will not benefit by stealing it.
Moreover, on grasping Jesus, they escaped because they were
afraid of the Jews.
Also, it is something unbelievable for the disciples to contrive
the tale of the resurrection and suffer imprisonment and
flogging and face death for the sake of a false and untrue story.
No-one can believe that the disciples denuded their master
from His shrouds and took Him naked.
If they had done so there would have been no dignity either for
Him or for them.
You can add to such bad deeds, the loss of time and exposing
the matter to be shown up.
What is the use of pretending that Christ has risen from among
the dead then they themselves face death for preaching the
resurrection and at the same time they have no faith in it?
Indeed, stealing the body was something impossible.
How can they penetrate the lines of the guards at the tomb?
How can they roll the big stone from the entrance of the tomb
without making any noise which attracts people's attention and
causes the guards to wake up from their sleep?
How can they carry a corpse on Sunday? How can they
perform all these matters while the eyes are gazing at the tomb?
How can we believe that the guards were asleep and paid
no attention to the severity of the Roman law?
If the sentinels wished to sleep, why didn't they divide the
watch-time among themselves and did the thing by turns?
If they were all asleep, how couldn't the noise of the act of
stealing the body arouse even some of them?
Why weren't they tried by a court martial for their
Why did they remain without punishment? Why was there
no judicial inquiry about the act of stealing? Why didn't
the authorities make any inspection?
The disciples and their dwellings are well known... Where did
they hide the stolen body?
How did they bury it on Sunday?
And if the guards were asleep; how did they know that the
disciples came at night and stole the body?
Indeed, it was a cunning stratagem of an evil, weak
thought, non acceptable by anyone.
It showed the depravity, the falsehood and the lies of those
priests and proved their false pretence, the bribes they paid
and their deviating people from the truth and from the
What about the great numbers of those eyewitnesses who were
contemporary with the resurrection?
Were they liars? Then, how did God make miracles through
them if they were impostors and deceivers?
Any how, as the chief priests of the Jews tried to oppose the
resurrection before its happening, they also made great
efforts to mar its glories after it was accomplished.
For these reasons they were neither religious nor truthful.
They broke the Sabbath when they sealed the tomb and put
guards at its entrance.
They told many lies about the resurrection and tempted the
guards to say false stories.
They gave bribes to the guards in order to broadcast their lies
about the resurrection.
Through their authority and their relations with the governor
they could deceive all the people. They persecuted the disciples
wrongfully although they know....
As they brought false witnesses during Christ's trial, they also
brought other false witnesses to deny His resurrection.
Also, the chief priests of the Jews were not men of faith.
They did not believe in the miracles done by Christ during His
life among them.
Although the miracle of the resurrection was very clear before
them, they did not believe in it.
Moreover, they had no faith in the miracles done by the
disciples in the name of Christ.
Their hearts were closed completely before the clear truth.
They proved that they would have no respondence to any
miracle even if they witnessed it.
They also did not believe in the disciples' preaching the Gospel.
Christ's resurrection frightened them because His existence
used to tire them and reveal their wrong deeds.
So, they rejoiced when they thought that, by His crucifixion,
they got rid of Him.
The phrase "The living Christ" tires the sinners but gladdens the
righteous. There are many men like the priests of the Jews.
They wish to get rid of Christ because His existence admonishes
them with their wrong deeds.
The Blessings Of The Resurrection In Our Life
Everything is possible:
Nothing is impossible Men do their best in all fields but if they
stand before God they will stop both work and abilities
completely for every attempt will be of no use.
This was the sensation of Mary and Martha after the death of
their brother Lazarus who had already been in the tomb for four
days. It was said about him "By this time, there is a bad
When The Lord Jesus Christ raised him from death, they
became sure that nothing is impossible. After Jesus had raised
Lazarus from death, this Lazarus died once more and has not
But Jesus Christ, by His own resurrection, conquered and
smashed death forever.
Christ's resurrection was an eternal one after which there would
be no more death.
Paul, the apostle looked at the power of this resurrection and
said "O Death, where [is] your sting? O Hades, where [is]
your victory?" (1 cor 15:55).
Indeed, death was broken up and everything became possible.
Not only did men believe that all things are possible with God
(Matt 19:26) who is able to do everything but the apostle also
says " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. "
(Phil 4:13) He also said " that I may know Him and the power
of His resurrection ... " (Phil 3:10)
The Holy Bible gives us a general rule about "impossibility" and
says " All things are possible to him who believes."
The resurrection has given men a gigantic power.
As death has been conquered and smashed before them, all the
obstacles and difficulties became smooth and easy and there was
no impossibility. What else did the resurrection present? What
is its second blessing?
Longing for the eternal life.
The apostle said "I desire to depart and be with Christ , which
is better by far. "(Phil 1:23)
The apostle desires to be with Christ who rose from among the
dead and went up to heaven, then sat on the right of God.
Christ who said " And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will
draw all [peoples] to Myself."(John 12:32)
Christ who said " I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go
and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you
to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. " (John
Love of eternal life made men long for some-thing greater than
life on earth, more dignified than substance and elements and
more powerful than any desire or lust on earth.
The saints looked at the earth as a remote strange foreign land.
They considered themselves aliens and foreigners.
They longed for a heavenly residence. They wished to lead a
spiritual and eternal life.
Also, men longed for the other world where there is no sorrow,
no gloominess, no sighing, no sin, no hatred and no fights. A
world of love, joy, peace and purity, where there is no evil and
where the good prevails.
By means of the resurrection the human nature is
cleared up both physically and spiritually.
As for the bodies; some are raised spiritual and imperishable.
They do not become tired, or hungry. They do not feel thirsty.
They never fall ill or decompose.
They become like the angels of God in heaven. They rise taking
the similarity of "His glorified body".
How thrilling and magnificent is this revealment through which
the human nature becomes glorified.
Indeed, this brings back to our minds the happenings of the
transfiguration on Mount Tabour.
Also, the spirit takes part in the transfiguration. It returns as it
had been in the beginning and resembles God's image and
likeness in an inexpressible purity.
Some approaches to the resurrection
Many miracles took place during Christ's crucifixion. The
sun gave no light and darkness came over the land. The
curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
Earthquakes shook the earth and the rocks split and the
tombs broke open. But did all men make use of these
miracles? No, everyone benefited by them according to the
aptitude and readiness of his heart.
When the earth shook, the robber believed in Christ while the
priests and their chiefs did not believe in Him.
When blood and water drew out of Christ's side the centurion
and his soldiers believed in Him while the leaders of the people
denied Him and His resurrection.
The matter is not connected with the miracle and its might
and strength but with the inner readiness of man's heart
and his wish to benefit by it.
As for the miracle of the man who was born blind and whom
Christ healed, the man himself believed in Christ but the
Pharisees did not trust the man although the miracle was very
powerful and clear.
They became agitated because the man defended Christ who
healed him. So, they threw the man out of the Synagogue.
Also, when Christ healed the man with the paralysed hand they
refused to make use of the miracle pretending that it was made
on the Sabbath. All these matters remind us of the Parable of
the Sower which the Lord explained.
The growth of the plants depends on the kind of the soil. Is
it formed of stony layers; is it good for sowing; is it full of
The sower is the same sower; the seeds are the same seeds
but the soil on which the sower scatters the seeds differs in
regard to its reclamation, its efficiency and its acceptance to
the divine sowing.
This is what happened in regard to the story of the resurrection
and the story of the crucifixion.
The miracles have taken place but the people differed from each
other; some benefited by them while others gained nothing.
Seeds on a stony soil
Although the chief priests and the leaders of the Jewish people
witnessed the darkness that spread at the time of Christ's
crucifixion, yet they got no benefit because their hearts were
darker than the obscurity and the darkness that covered the
Even after the miracles in which the right robber and the
Centurion believed, they went to Pilate and said "Sir, we
remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said,
'After three days I will rise.' Therefore command that the tomb
be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by
night and steal Him away, and say to the people, 'He has risen
from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse than the
first." (Matt 27:62-64)
Thus, they took some soldiers with them and went to the tomb
to make it secure.
They sealed the tomb and set some soldiers to guard it.
They did all that on the Sabbath although they criticised
Jesus and said that He was a sinner because He healed the
sick on the Sabbath.
They were very enthusiastic and had great zeal for the Sabbath.
They contracted the enmity of Christ because of this day "The
Moreover, they claimed from the authorities to break the bones
of the crucified and to bring them down from the crosses lest
they should contaminate the Sabbath.
What a strange zeal for the Sabbath!!?
In spite of this enthusiasm, they, in the evening before the
Sabbath, took the soldiers with them, sealed the tomb and
set the guards to keep its entrance on the Sabbath without
considering their deed as a sin.
After sealing the tomb, they seemed to say in their hearts "We
have broken the Sabbath in order that we may break the one
who infringed the Sabbath".
While they were sealing the tomb, Christ, Himself, set free the
redeemed and rescued them from hell, and disjoined the seals of
the closed paradise, then, let in those who have fallen asleep in
It is very easy for men to play with their consciences as they
Some persons have consciences which resemble the balls
which roll on every side and in every direction till they
come to a stop.
Indeed, the chiefs of the Jews were of the same moulds.
What they have done was against them and not in their interest.
If they themselves had not sealed the tomb and set their own
guards at its entrance they would have been able to protest and
say that the disciples stole the body. But, now, they have set
the guards and sealed the tomb. What could they say about the
Christ has risen from among the dead with great glory and came
out of the sealed tomb as He had come out of Saint Mary's
womb while she remained virgin.
After Christ's resurrection " And behold, there was a great
earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on
it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as
white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and
became like dead men." (Matt 28:2-4)
Did the guards benefit from of this great miracle? Did the
priests and the elders benefit from it?
No, the sacred seeds had fallen on a stony soil.
How truthful our Father Abraham was when he said " If they
do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be
persuaded though one rise from the dead. " (Luke 16:31)
If we can fumble for an excuse for the Gentile soldiers who do
not know anything about Christ and His glory, what about the
priests and the teachers of the law.
They should have taken care of God's commandments and their
When they heard of the resurrection from the guards, they gave
them bribes and put false words on their tongues and told them
"...Tell them, "His disciples came at night and stole Him [away]
while we slept.' And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will
appease him and make you secure." So they took the money
and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly
reported" (Matt 28:11-15).
Thus, they did not only make use of the miracle of the
resurrection but their wickedness and their evil grew more
Not only did they tell lies but they taught others to be liars.
Their falsehood was not perfect. They suggested to them to say
that the disciples stole Him while they were asleep.
If you were asleep how could you know that He was stolen by
Indeed, lies' string is too short.
They were not satisfied with their lies. They placed some
accusations to others, falsely and spuriously.
They accused disciples of theft. They paid bribes to cover their
deeds. They spoiled the soldiers' fame, deceived the ruler and
misled the people and cheated them.
In spite of all this deviation from the truth they described
Christ as a delusive deceiver as if they wished to say to
Pilate "Rescue the people from this deceiver in order that
we may delude them.
Scattering the seeds of the miracle of the resurrection in the
hearts of those leaders is like sowing them in a stony soil. So
the miracle did not affect them.
Their care of keeping their posts trespassed their thinking of
From their behaviour we can see how man glides down
from sin to sin, then, rolls down in a long endless chain of
The principle of their sins is love of worthless glory. This
love led them to resentment.
They envied Christ because they wished to be the most
outstanding nation without competitors.
What would be the matter with that Nazarene who covered
their fame and revealed their hypocrisy?
Resentment led their leaders to weave conspiracies which
led them to be false witnesses in Christ's judgment; to treat
Him with cruelty during His crucifixion and to delude all
This wrong attitude led them to fear, and fear guided them
to seal the tomb and set the guards at its entrance although
it was the Sabbath.
Certainly, they took the people in their partnership in
breaking the Sabbath.
These sins, revealed by the resurrection, led them to
bribery, telling lies, apostasy, instigation to evil and
deluding the people.
By such bad deeds, they wished to become magnificent in their
own eyes and in people's eyes as well. In fact they lost
themselves and gained neither heaven nor earth.
They are a stony soil. They are a sin surrounded by fear. They
feared Christ even after His death. They feared His resurrection
lest it should destroy what they had done. They felt that He still
had work to do.
It is well-known that the killer always fears the ghost of the
Psychologists were true when they said that the killer hovers
about the place of the crime. So the Jews, continued hovering
about the spot of their crime.
The disciples forgot that He had told them that He would
rise on the third day but those priests and elders, who were
afraid of Christ, did not forget His words. They said to
Pilate: " We remember, while He was still alive, how that
deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise.' "
It is something strange that they remembered that phrase and
did not remember His words "I and My Father are one." John
They did not remember the deeds done by Him, which no one
had carried out before Him.
They did not remember how He raised Lazarus from death after
They did not remember how He offered sight to the born blind.
They only remembered His resurrection because it disturbed
them and made their thoughts uneasy. So they committed
crimes to get rid of their troubles.
They seemed to be samples of those seeds which were
scattered on the stony soil.
There were many other samples. There were some seeds
which sprouted but thorns choked them afterwards.
Mary the Magdalene was the most outstanding example during
the events of the resurrection.
As for the effect of the resurrection on the disciples, we say that
it was like the seeds which were picked up by the birds.
The birds, in regard to the disciples, are the devil of doubt
which snatched their faith and flew away.
How did these matters take place? How did Christ change them
into a good cultivable land which yielded hundred fold.
How did He restore faith to their hearts and to Mary
Magdalene's heart as well?
Seeds snatched by the birds
What happened was heavy and cruel to God's heart.
Even His disciples doubted in His resurrection and did not
believe in it.
But He did not face such doubts with admonition. He
embraced their weakness with love and treated their doubts
Mary Magdalene went and told them about the resurrection of
the Lord. " And when they heard that He was alive and had
been seen by her, they did not believe." (Mark 16:11)
When the women returned from the tomb and told them about
God's resurrection " And their words seemed to them like idle
tales, and they did not believe them." (Luke 24:11)
When the Lord came up and walked along with the disciples
from Emmaus " Now behold, two of them were traveling that
same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles
from Jerusalem. " (Luke 24:13)
When Jesus Himself stood among them, they did not believe
that He rose but " But they were terrified and frightened, and
supposed they had seen a spirit. " (Luke 24:37)
The devil of doubts could snatch the seeds of faith which
God had scattered on their soil, so the Lord condescended
and came down to their weakness in order that He might
convince them of His resurrection.
In the same way He behaved with the two disciples of Emmaus
who were not intelligent as He " And beginning at Moses and
all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures
the things concerning Himself. " (Luke 24:27)
He stayed with them till " Then their eyes were opened and they
knew Him; ..." (Luke 24:31). Then they went and told the
The Lord, also, condescended to the weakness of the Eleven
and said to them "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts
arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I
Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and
bones as you see I have." (Luke 24:38,39)
Then, He, who rose in a glorified body, condescended to
convince them and asked them ; "Have you any food
here?" " So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and
some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence. "
As Thomas was absent, the Lord showed Himself especially to
him to reveal his doubts and to convince him.
The Lord stayed with them till they became sure and believed. "
He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many
infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and
speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. "
He did not leave them but appeared to them over a period of
forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
He sent away the birds which used to snatch their seeds. He
changed them into a good soil which did not give thirty only but
sixty and hundred also.
Their faith became a big fruitful tree which yielded all kinds of
The Resurrection Is Joy And Gladness
On announcing the good news to the women, the two
angels said to them "Why do you seek the living among the
dead? He is not here, but is risen! " (Luke 24:5,6)
The phrase "The living Christ" caused great joy to the
disciples while it caused terror to the chiefs of the Jews and
to the sinners as well.
This phrase did not only intimidate them at the time of the
resurrection and preaching it but this fear will chase them till the
next coming of Christ and will pursue and follow them in the
About this the Bible says " Behold, He is coming with clouds,
and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all
the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so. "
Like the priests of the Jews, there were many who wished to get
rid of Christ lest He should reprimand and show them up.
Christ's resurrection was a joy and gladness to the
disciples and to us also.
The day of crucifixion was a mournful and a distressing day as
to the psychic side but as for the divine side, it was a day of
The people witnessed the pains, vituperations, insults, spittle
and nails only, but they did not witness either the deliverance or
the opening of Paradise's gate and how the sleeping in hope
were transferred to it.
The disciples were filled with terror but they rejoiced when they
saw the Lord.
Equal to the disciples ' grief and restlessness on Friday, there
were much more joy on Saturday because of the resurrection.
Thus, the words of the Lord were verified " but I will see you
again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take
from you." (John 16.-22)
They rejoiced because they saw the Lord. They saw Him alive
outside the tomb after thinking that there would be no future
They, also, rejoiced because the Lord obtained victory in His
combat against falsehood and that He " ... who always leads us
in triumph in Christ, ... " (2 Cor 2:14)
They also rejoiced because they got rid of their enemy's gloating
and malevolence as well as their disturbance, anxiety and
At that time, they were able to go out of their places and face
the situation and speak publicly with might and power about
They rejoiced because the cross was not the end of the story.
The end of it was the gladdening and cheering resurrection
which removed and eliminated the pains of Golgotha and
Gethsemane and the events which took place before and after
He said to them "I will see you again and you will rejoice " .
We celebrate the joys of the resurrection which give the
sensation that the Lord is living with us and among us and that
no tomb can enclose Him, who holds all men in His heart. The
disciples rejoiced at Christ's resurrection.
They also rejoiced when they saw Him. His resurrection
was the point which changed both their history and the
history of Christianity.
By means of the resurrection and by this material
proof which they witnessed, they rejoiced and believed that
it was something possible.
So, Saint John, the apostle, said about Him " which we have
heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked
upon, and our hands have handled, " (1 John 1:1)
Saint Peter, the Apostle, said " Us who ate and drank with Him
after He arose from the dead. " (Acts 10:41)
By means of the resurrection the disciples' fear changed into
courage, boldness and non observance of the powers and forces
which declare war against the word of God.
Thus, after the resurrection, saint Peter could say " We ought to
obey God rather than men. " (Acts 5:29)
By means of the resurrection, the disciples never feared
All that their enemies can do, is to threaten them with
death. But what can death do to those who have seen the
resurrection and believed in it!?
Thus, Christianity believes that death is mere transition
and "To die is gain " and "it is better by far" and "never feared
by anyone. "
By means of the resurrection, the disciples felt that
they were overshaded with a powerful God.
They believed in Him "who holds the keys of death and Hades."
Life is in Him. He is the resurrection and the life. He who
believes in Him will live, even though he dies. He is the source
of life not only on earth but in the eternal life also.
The disciples rejoiced because the Lord kept His
promise with them.
Because the promises of Christ, that He would rise and that
they would see Him, were fulfilled; they believed in the
other promises as " ... I go to prepare a place for you. And if I
go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive
you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. " (John
They had confidence in what He said about sending the
Counsellor to them (John 16:7) and that "they will receive
power when the Holy Spirit comes on them. (Acts 1:8)
They believed in His promise " I am with you always, even to
the end of the age." (Matt 28:20)
All these promises gave them power, faith and joy.
Not only did the disciples rejoice at the resurrection
but they also, with pleasure, met the pains caused to them
as a result of giving testimony in favour of the resurrection.
Pain had a new conception in the minds and feelings of the
disciples because they had the " But we have the mind of
Christ. ". (1 Cor 2:16).
They became convinced that pain was the way to glory as it
happened with Christ through His crucifixion.
They put this perception before them " We suffer with Him,
that we may also be glorified together." (Rom 8:17)
So, he tolerated and suffered pains saying " As sorrowful, yet
always rejoicing. " (2 Cor 6: 10)
By means of the resurrection, the cross became
honour and glory but not pain.
The disciples were not disturbed any more. So, Paul, the
Apostle, says " Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in
reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's
sake." (2 Cor 12:10) He also says "As sorrowful, yet always
rejoicing ."(2 Cor 6:10).
The resurrection became joy to all the believers and
good news for the general resurrection.
The resurrection gave the Christians hope and trust in the
other world. So, they concentrated all their desires in it
and renounced worldly pleasures.
All that Christianity proclaimed about the life of devoutness,
religious devotion and monasticism and forsaking the world
depends on believing in the resurrection and longing for the
other world which surpasses all earthly desires.
Thus, in every liturgy, the church repeats the words of the
apostle " Do not love the world or the things in the world. ...
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; ... " (1 John
In the joys of the resurrection they rejoiced at the
kingdom and the eternal paradise which would come
They knew that, after the resurrection, there would be great
happiness. Saint Paul, the Apostle, could say about these
matters "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered
into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for
those who love Him." (1 Cor 2:9)
The same apostle spoke about the crown prepared for the
righteous saying " Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to
me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have
loved His appearing. " (2Tit 4:8)
In the "Revelation" God explained other glories which those
who overcome will get after the resurrection. He spoke about
the tree of life, the crown of life, the hidden manna authority,
the morning star and the white robes ... (Rev 2,3)
How beautiful his words were when He said "To him who
overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also
overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. " (Rev
We cannot separate the resurrection from its glories for which
the saints longed for death.
Saint Paul said " Having a desire to depart and be with Christ,
which is far better. " (Phil 1:23). He also said "and be with the
Lord all the time. "
In "Revelation", saint John spoke about the new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven which is the dwelling of God with
Indeed, how beautiful is the resurrection which leads to all that
we, in hope, are waiting for rejoicing at the Lord and His
Thus, the resurrection gave us hope to be with
The joy of the resurrection is not only to rise from death but
also to rise with Christ and live with Him.
So, the resurrection, in itself, became a means and not end
It is a means to live with God and enjoy His companionship in
continuous inexpressible and glorious joy, with the queues of
His angels and saints.
The resurrection has become the desire and the passion and the
faith of all men.
They consider it the way to eternity and living with God which
is the aim of our life on earth.
At the time of Christ's resurrection, the disciples
who had been afraid of being related to Him, rejoiced at
being His followers.
In the past, they were so terrified of being attributed to Him
that Peter, the night before judgment, denied his relationship
with Christ and with an oath he said "I do not know the Man!"
Now, after the resurrection, they became proud of Him.
They rejoiced because the Lord, by His own will, appeared to
them for forty days, in the attic in Jerusalem, on the shores of
the sea of Tiberias, and in Galilee.
They were filled with joy because the Lord spoke with them,
tranquillised their hearts, forgave Peter's denial, convinced
Thomas of his doubts and came down to their weakness in
order that He might elevate them to his power without rebuking
them because of their escape, hiding, and doubt.
They rejoiced because The Lord Jesus Christ
searched for them after His resurrection.
The time He spent with them was a period of dressing their
wounds, removing their doubts and forgiveness for their sins.
It was an interval of preparation for the coming service.
The Lord spent with them forty days through which He showed
Himself to them " Speaking of the things pertaining to the
kingdom of God. " (Acts 1:3).He gave them many convincing
proofs that He was alive.
They rejoiced because through Christ's appearance
to them, they perceived His glory and His greatness.
With a light from heaven flashed around Him, He showed
Himself to Saul of Tarsus that he fell to the ground puzzled.
He appeared to John the visionary. " His countenance was like
the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at
His feet as dead. " (Rev 1:16,17)
The disciples rejoiced because, after the
resurrection, they were trusted with a mission.
The Lord said to them "Go therefore and make disciples of all
the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all
things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you
always, even to the end of the age." (Matt 28:19,20) " Go into
all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who
believes and is baptised will be saved; ... And these signs will
follow those who believe ... " (Mark 16:15-17)
Thus, they had a mission, a great and important one for which
they Eve and do their best for its ascertainment. Thus, they will
be crowned and the words of the Lord " I will make you fishers
of men." (Matt 4:19) will be realised.
Undoubtedly, Peter has rejoiced when the Lord said to him after
the resurrection "Feed My lambs. ", "Tend My sheep." (John
No doubt, all the disciples rejoiced when the Lord, after the
resurrection said to them "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you
forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive
them, they are not forgiven. ... As the Father has sent Me, I
also send you. -" (John 20:21-23)
15. After the resurrection, the disciples rejoiced at the
spiritual body because The Lord Jesus Christ will raise
their bodies as He rose.
This transfiguration which will happen to human nature after
rising from death was mentioned with extended detail by Saint
Paul, the Apostle who said "So will it be with the resurrection
of the dead. The body that is sown perishable, it is raised
imperishable,. it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is
sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural
body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Cor 15:42-44).
He also said about Jesus Christ " who will transform our lowly
body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, ... " (Phil
3:21) take note of "Like His glorious body".
These words give us an idea how beautiful the other world is.
They, also, give us a notion about its spirituality and the
resplendence of the spirit when it is freed from the bonds of
materiality and the abilities of the spirit and its talents.
16. The resurrection supported preaching the Gospel
with confidence and faith.
Confidence in Christ who rose from among the dead; with
whom the disciples lived forty days after the resurrection " He
also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many
infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and
speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. "
John, the Apostle, said about Him "Which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and
our hands have touched. " (1 John)
A summary of the disciples' joys:
"Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord." (John
20:20). Joy remained with them as a plain course of their life.
They rejoiced at the Lord's resurrection. They were very happy
when He showed Himself to them.
They rejoiced at His true promises and at the resurrection in
They rejoiced at His triumph over death. They were glad
because the Jews would not gloat over them any more.
They rejoiced at the power they were given. They were very
glad because of the mission which the Lord gave them after the
They were delighted with the spreading of preaching the
They were happy in spite of the persecutions and the difficulties
they met because of their testimony in favour of God.
The Bible said about them " So they departed from the presence
of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer
shame for His name. " (Acts 5:41)
They rejoiced also because He fulfilled His promise and sent to
them the Holy Spirit.
They rejoiced when He said to them " But tarry in the city of
Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high."
They rejoiced at His saying "For where two or three are
gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of
them." (Matt 18:20) and His saying " I am with you always,
even to the end of the age." (Matt 28:20)
The Lord Jesus Christ's Resurrection Its Power
And Its Effectiveness
There is a great difference between the two days
They were two days. As for the human senses, they were
diametrically opposite: Friday, 14th of Nisan and Sunday 16th
of Nisan, the year 34 AD
Friday was a gloomy day in regard to all the disciples and
the followers of Christ.
It was an exciting and thrilling surprise which they never
expected to happen to their great teacher.
The conspiracy which was accomplished very soon. It was
woven very quickly; the crowds who shouted all the louder
"Crucify Him; Crucify Him".(Luke 23:21),(John 19:6) the
disciple who betrayed His master in return for thirty silver coins,
the series of insults to which the Lord was exposed as cursing,
derision, mockery, slapping on the face, spittle in addition to the
pains caused by the thorns, the flogging and fastening on the
cross with nails.
Was it true that everything had been accomplished so
Did the doer of the miracles and the great teacher who amazed
all men become so delusive and deceptive that the authorities
crucified Him between two robbers?
And those who benefited by His love, kindness and miracles
disappeared from existence! Even His disciples scattered and
escaped and left Him alone as it is written " I will strike the
Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered." (Matt
26:31) (Zech 13:7)
Peter Himself, the most enthusiastic among the disciples denied
his master before a servant girl and called down curses and
swore to the people that he did not know the man (Matt 26:74)
As for Christ's enemies, they got grip of everything. They
could hold the Sanhedrin and take a decision against him. They
could excite people's anger and make them repeat their words.
They could make an impression on the governor till he rendered
a judgment against Christ although he said " ... I find no fault
in Him." (John 19:4) that he had found no fault in Christ
So, evil seemed so triumphant and cruel and the words of Christ
to those rulers we fulfilled " But this is your hour, and the
power of darkness." (Luke 22:53)
All that the devil could do was done. He could get rid of
Christ who was beloved by all men and followed by thousands
who were amazed by His instructions. Jesus, " He laid His
hands on every one of them and healed them. " (Luke 4:40)
He also raised the dead, gave sight to the blind and, by His
power, evil spirits came out of many.
Even after they killed Him, they made the governor give an
order for the tomb to be made secure by putting a seal on the
big stone and posting the guard.
They completely felt assured that Christ came to an end. It
was a bad end "And He was numbered with the
transgressors , ... " (Is 53:12). All His followers were
scattered ... !!
Thus, that Friday was a distressing one in which injustice
predominated, treason and cruelty spread and covetousness and
evil obtained victory.
Christ's disciples found themselves perplexed and at a loss.
Belonging to Christ was a dangerous matter. Christ was still in
Everything was in the hands of the authorities. It seemed that
there was no hope in enjoying once more the good days they
had spent with their beneficent teacher.
As for the deliverance which was accomplished on the
cross, none has felt it. All that was seen by men was that
the crucified one seemed too weak to save Himself.
They defied Him saying " If You are the Son of God, come
down from the cross ... " (Matt 27:40)
In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and
the elders mocked Him "He saved others; Himself He cannot
save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from
the cross, and we will believe Him. " (Matt 27:40-42)
Also, one of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him
"If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." (Luke 23:39)
In this way, Friday was a day of gloating, injustice and
dispersion but something took place and turned the rudder
towards the opposite direction, It was the resurrection
which shook the whole Jewish existence whether rulers or
The resurrection took place at the dawn of Sunday in spite of
the existence of the guards, the big stone and the seals.
Great precautions were taken to guard the tomb but the empty
tomb stood as a material witness for the resurrection as well as
the well arranged strips of linen and the burial cloth that had
been around Jesus' head.
The chiefs of the Jews tried, by all means, to deface and
disfigure the reality of the resurrection but they could not.
Indeed, the tangible occurrence was much more deeper than all
Christ appeared alive to His disciples. His appearance
banished their fears, encouraged them and gave them an
extra-ordinary power to he witnesses for His resurrection.
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene.
(Mark 16:9) and to Simon Peter (1 Cor 15:5) and to the two
companions of Emmaus. (Luke 24:12-3 1) and to the ten
disciples in the absence of Thomas. (Luke 24:33-43) and to the
disciples in the presence of Thomas and showed them His
wounds. (John 20:26-29)
He, also, appeared to seven of His disciples by the Sea of
Tiberias. (John 21:1-7) and to more than five hundred of the
brothers at the same time, then appeared to James. (1 Cor
15:6,7) and " He also presented Himself alive after His
suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during
forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom
of God." (Acts 1:3)
He was with them when He was taken up, and a cloud received
Him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9)
He appeared to Saul from Tarsus; on his journey to Damascus
and chose him as an instrument and apostle to carry His name
before the Gentiles. (Acts 9:3-15)
All these events gave the disciples a abnormal power. About
this the Bible says " And with great power the apostles gave
witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace
was upon them all. " (Acts 4:33)
What was the power of the resurrection which gave them
The power of the resurrection
The Lord Jesus Christ's resurrection from among the dead
was the greatest event that shook the Jews' entity.
By all means, they tried to resist it saying "This last
deviation from the truth will be more powerful than the
first straying" They meant preaching the Gospel.
Then, what was that power of the resurrection and what
were its effects?
1. Christ came out of the tomb while it was closed.
This miraculous performance was not something strange for
Jesus as He had come out of Saint Mary's womb while she
remained a virgin.
Also, during His appearances to His disciples after the
resurrection; while they were gathering together in the attic, He
came in and stood among them " when the doors were shut. "
2. One of the signs which prove the resurrection's power is
that Christ rose by Himself and not by others' help.
All those who rose before Him were raised by others' help.
Elijah, the prophet raised the son of the widow at Zarephath. (1
Elisha, the prophet, raised the son of the Shunammite. (2 kin
The Lord Jesus Christ raised the daughter of Jairus, and the son
of Nain's widow and Lazarus but He rose by Himself because
the energy and the power of the resurrection were in Him. It
was impossible for death to keep Him under its control because
" In Him was life." (John 1:4)
The Lord Jesus Christ rose in spite of the stressed
guardianship, the strong guards, the seals and the big stone
at the entrance of the tomb.
The worldly power used its utmost energy but Christ was
stronger than it.
The resurrection proved that it was more powerful than all the
obstacles. It was a victory against all Christ's opponents and
adversaries; a triumph over death, over Hades, over the tomb,
over the big stone, over the seals and over the strips of linen
that were wrapped around His body.
Thus, when Saint Paul knew Him, He said " I may know
Him and the power of His resurrection. " (Phil 3:10)
Paul knew the power of Christ's resurrection when he saw Him
after the resurrection. The Bible says " As he journeyed he
came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him
from heaven." (Acts 9:3)
Thus, this apostle became sure of Jesus' powerful resurrection
and could share in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His
Saint John, the beloved one, experienced the same power when
Jesus appeared to him " His countenance was like the sun
shining in its strength." (Rev 1:16) Inside the tomb, Christ's
power was greater than any power outside it.
On sunday, at dawn, He left the tomb in a moment not known
by anyone. The stone was in its place till the angel came and
rolled it to announce the resurrection which was accomplished.
So the women could see the tomb empty.
4. The aspects of His power after the resurrection:
These are some sides of the power which men witnessed on
earth, in addition to the powerful numerous appearances; the
power of His ascension to heaven and sitting on the right of
God; the power of entering the attic with the doors closed and
the power of changing the disciples from weak terrified persons
into brave heroes who could preach the Gospel with all ability
and without any objection.
As His resurrection was powerful, so, there was another power
which preceded that resurrection.
His power between the time of His death and that of
After His death, it was His own power with which He could
open the gates of Hades and go to preach to the spirits in
prison. (1 Peter .3:19)
With this power, He could descend to the lower, earthly regions
and lead captives in His train and give gifts of redemption to
men, then, after the resurrection, He could ascend higher than
all heavens, in order to fill the whole universe. (Eph 4:8-10)
By His resurrection, The Lord Jesus Christ, proved
that He was more powerful than death and that His death
and His silence during the judgment were not due to any
point of weakness in Him.
If He had spoken, He would have dumbfounded and convinced
His audience, but this was not His aim. His aim was to redeem
So, when they asked Him to come down from the cross He did
not respond to them although He was able to come down. His
only aim was to suffer pain and die on behalf of us and pay the
price of sin, return and redemption for us.
The resurrection proved that Christ's silence was not
The power of the resurrection was the strongest reply to those
who charged Him with weakness, or those who thought that
His crucifixion was a sign of His disability.
By the resurrection, it was proved that Christ's silence had
He kept silent because He wished to give Himself for us. If he
had defended himself he would have won the case without any
Many a time, He answered the chiefs and the elders and the
priests of the Jews and they gave no reply.
Moreover, they witnessed the power of His words when He
was twelve years old. Even His audience certified that He spoke
as one who had authority.
Christ's silence during His judgment was a proof that He
died by His own will.
He said about Himself "I lay down my life only to take it up
again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I
have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.
... " (John 10:18)
He laid it down at the time of crucifixion and took it up at the
time of the resurrection.
Jesus has given up the Spirit with love and self sacrifice not
because of weakness and disability and as He rose in power,
He died in power as well.
When He breathed the last, He cried out with a loud voice while
the body was completely exhausted. His water and His blood
Flogging, walking, beating, bleeding and hanging on the cross
made Him powerless.
His body died but His divine spirit remained alive without
During His death He could give good news to those who slept
on hope. Also, He could open the closed gates of paradise and
let in it the robber to be with Adam, his descendants and the
saints of the past ages.
He could also rise and His resurrection mocked at the
guards, the seals and the big stone at the entrance of the
It did not happen; in the history of humanity, that anyone other
than Christ could overcome death by his own authority; or rose
by his own will or went out of a tomb with an entrance closed
by a huge stone and guarded with fully armed soldiers.
The power of Christ's resurrection smashed the chief
priests of the Jews as well as all the Sadducees. It proved
their crime of His judgment and His crucifixion.
It proved that all their past pretences were false. So, by the
resurrection, they became blamable before the nation.
When the disciples proclaimed the resurrection in every
connection, 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 the resurrection terrified the chiefs of the
Jews because it showed His righteousness.
If He had been culpable, He would not have been able to
rise from among the dead.
As the resurrection was a proof of His righteousness, the
resurrection at the same time proved the injustice of those chiefs
and their trumping up charges against Him. Those chiefs who
had rejoiced thinking that they had got rid of Him by killing
The speech about His appearance after He had been killed
The holy saints did not stop blaming them for this point itself.
So, Saint Peter, the Apostle said to them after the miracle of
healing the crippled beggar "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob, 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)
The Saddukees, in general, do not believe in the
resurrection. so, Christ's resurrection was a dangerous
practical proof against the proceeding of their creed and
Thus, with all their power, they resisted the resurrection and
opposed the disciples when they announced it.
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 the resurrection was stronger than their
Indeed His resurrection from death was more powerful
than His coming down the cross.
Moreover, His resurrection proved that He died by His own
will and not by force especially because He Himself rose
without others' help and by Himself came out of the closed and
sealed tomb as He came out of Saint Mary's womb with her
Indeed as He said about Himself " I have power to lay it down,
and I have power to take it again." (John 10:18)
His resurrection proved that He was more powerful
than death; so, He was stronger than all human powers
which kill and put to death.
He was more powerful than the injustice of the evildoers; more
powerful than their conspiracies and their authority.
They did all that they could do till they prosecuted Him and
fastened Him with nails on the cross.
They defied Him and mocked at Him. They thought they
triumphed over Him especially because Christ remained silent
all the time of His judgement and challenging Him. " He was led
as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers
is silent." (Is 53:7)
His resurrection proved that His death was a self-sacrifice
and not by force.
Trusting His resurrection meant believing in His love, in His
self-sacrifice and in redeeming humanity.
It meant trusting His power, His past words about Himself and
His relationship with God.
This is the power of the One who died by body and
remained alive by His divinity.
It is the power of that One who said to 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). That
powerful One " whom God raised up, having loosed the pains
of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by
it. " (Acts 2:24)
The power of Christ's resurrection, with which it
was distinguished from other preceding ones, is that there
will be no death after it. It will be a continuous eternal
All those who had been raised from death died once more and
are still under the power of death waiting for the general
But Christ has risen alive and will remain so forever. Death has
no power over Him. So, the Bible gave Him the surname " the
first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." (1 Cor 15:20)
One of the clear and strong signs of Christ's
resurrection is that it was a glorified one.
He was raised in a glorified body which did not feel tired or feel
A body which did not feel hungry or thirsty. A body which did
not become decomposed.
A body which could come out of the tomb with its entrance
sealed and could enter with the doors closed. A body which
could ascend to heaven.
In the general resurrection, we expect to be raised in the same
way as the apostle said " ... we also eagerly wait for the
Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly
body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, " (Phil
As Christ's resurrection was powerful so was its
effect on the church and all men.
It could change the occurrences on every side. The disciples
who were afraid and dared not declare openly their relationship
with Christ gained a strange power to preach the Gospel.
And Peter, who formerly denied Christ before a slave maid,
could bravely say to the chief priests "We ought to obey God
rather than men. "(Acts 5:29) "For we cannot but speak the
things which we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:20)
The power gained by the disciples from the
resurrection may he concentrated in two points:
They knew quite well that Christ was more powerful
He has triumphed over death. As we say in our prayers "By
death He trampled over death. " It means that after He died
He could trample over death by His resurrection.
The knowledge about this occurrence confirmed their faith and
they remembered the Lord saying " I lay down My life that I
may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of
Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it
again. " (John 10:17,18)
By Christ's resurrection, they knew that they would
be raised from death like Him.
Thus, they never feared death. The dread of death was smashed
before them when Christ trampled over it and went out of the
tomb alive and glorified.
They feared death no more and paid no attention to it. Such
bravery remained the characteristic peculiarity of the disciples
and of all the members of the church.
Saint Paul, the Apostle, says more than that " Having a desire
to depart and be with Christ, which is far better." (Phil 1:23)
14. One of the remarkable signs of Christ's resurrection is
confirmation of faith.
The Lord Jesus Christ spent forty days with His disciples talking
to them about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)
During that period, He confirmed their faith and explained to
them everything about Himself in detail.
He put before them all the disciplines of the church, as well
as the Liturgy and all the rules of faith and its creeds.
After the period which Christ spent with them after His
resurrection, they were filled with spiritual and faithful abilities
with which they could face the whole world with steadiness and
stability. They spoke about the resurrection from their own
As Saint John, the beloved one, says " That which was from the
beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our
eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled,
... " (1 John 1:1)
The resurrection was no longer a mere theoretical creed but
something which they themselves witnessed and viewed.
This experience endowed them with a power of faith that they
could spread it all over the world with confidence and certitude.
The power of the resurrection appeared in the
resurrection itself, in its circumstances, in its results and in
what happened after it.
It was not a single resurrection special for The Lord Jesus
Christ alone but for all of us.
It was a handsel for the general resurrection, for heavenly
Jerusalem and for eternity with its enjoyments and happiness
according to God's promises.
The resurrection was so powerful that it revealed Christ's
nature - What was it? Who is he who could do such
It was also a forepart to the miracle of ascension.
It was a silencing and conclusive answer to the Sadducees
who did not believe in the resurrection as they trusted
neither in spirits nor in angels.
Contemplations On The Resurrection
The first thing we observe is the modesty of the Lord when He
allowed His crucifixion and the insults of the Jews against Him
to occur publicly before all the people. At the same time He
made His glorified resurrection in private and a secret not seen
He did not rise in glory before all men in order that He might be
compensated for the insults and the reproach caused to Him
during the crucifixion but He rose in secret.
He chose the dawn to be the time of His resurrection because at
that time all human were sleeping.
He chose the dawn in order that no one might see Him during
His glorious resurrection.
He was far from the dazzling views of His resurrection as it
happened on His birthday.
Then, He appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the other Mary, to
Peter, to the women, to the two of Emmaus, to the Eleven, to
Saul from Tarsus and to some of the brothers .... to the
favourites, to His own but not to those who formerly gloated on
In spite of all that, the resurrection which took place in
secret troubled the Jews and caused to them terror beyond
measure. They made great efforts to oppose it or at least to
prevent people from believing in it .... but in vain.
When they found that they had failed in preventing the
occurrence of the resurrection by setting the guards, the big
stone and the seals, they wished to prevent it from being
conveyed to men in another way, by telling lies, with
bribery and by rumours.
When their trials failed and they could not prevent the news of
the resurrection by their false means and when the news spread
all over the world through the preaching of the disciples they
resorted to another stratagem.
They tried to prevent preaching the resurrection by
arresting the disciples, flogging them, putting them in jails
and making complaints to the governors against them.
All the human plans done to prevent men from believing in the
It was true when the Bible said " No weapon formed against
you shall prosper. " (Is 54:17)
What was the secret of this great resurrection? Its secret
was that for the first time and also for the last time a person
could rise from death by himself. He was raised by no one.
Indeed, this occurrence terrified them.
The Lord Jesus Christ has fulfilled what He said about Himself.
"No one can take it from Him." " I have power to lay it down,
and I have power to take it again." (John 10:18)
The powerful Nazarene has triumphed over them. That
Nazarene whom death could not conquer.
That Nazarene who trod death down and rose at the time
He had fixed and according to His former prophecies. No
one could oppose His resurrection. But why didn't Christ
appear to them after the resurrection? Wasn't it suitable to
convince them to believe in Him!?
He did not appear to them because they were unworthy of
Him... Even if He had appeared to them, they would not have
believed in him.
This point reminds us of what Abraham, the Father of Fathers
had said to the rich man who was contemporary with poor
Lazarus "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither
will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead"(Luke
Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ made many other miracles
before them and they did not believe in Him.
When He healed the born blind they said to the man "We know
that this Man is a sinner." (John 9:24)
During the crucifixion, darkness came over all the land; the
earth shook and the rocks split; the curtain of the temple was
torn into two from top to bottom and some of the holy people
who had died were raised to life and in spite of all these
occurrences they did not believe in Him.
He did not appear to them because they were not only
unworthy of Him but also because they had no faith. Then,
why did He not appear to other men?
The Lord Jesus Christ left a field for faith about which Paul, the
apostle, said " ... faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen. " (Heb 11:1)
If the resurrection had been something visible it would have
been added to the circle of viewing and not to that of faith
because faith means: "to be certain of what we do not see."
It was enough that when He appeared to the rulers, all men
believed in Him through them.
As for faith, all men could not bear this matter, so, when
Christ appeared in His resurrection, He did not appear in
His glory, even to His own, because they could not bear it.
With the two of Emmaus, who did not know Him at first, He
spoke to them gradually.
With Mary Magdalene, He hid His personality that she thought
Him to be the gardener; then He revealed Himself bit by bit.
As for Saul, from Tarsus; when Jesus appeared to him in some
of His glory, his eyes were blinded by the radiant light of
Christ's face, then He healed him.
Also, when Jesus appeared in some of His glory to Saint John,
the beloved one, he fell to Christ's feet as if he were dead. The
Lord raised him and told him not to be afraid.
Indeed, who can bear seeing Christ in His glory? But as for
His modesty, it was enough for Him to make Himself
He will appear to them with His glory in the second coming
and then they will say to the mountains, "Cover us!" and to
the hills, "Fall on us!" and all nations on earth will mourn.
With the spirit and power of the resurrection Christianity
began its glorious history.
The disciples went forward into a new epoch of power. " And
with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection
of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. " (Acts
All the attempts they had done to smash Christ, He Himself
smashed by His resurrection.
Even the devil himself was completely destroyed by this
The Christ who conquered death and who said " ... I have
overcome the world. ... " (John 16:33) is able to do everything.
He can always lead us in His victorious procession.
This triumphant, the rising from the dead, can lead a group of
the triumphant ones and give them from His grace and from His
Thus, the defenceless Christianity could face Judaism and other
ancient religion. It, also, could stand firm before pagan
philosophies, Roman authorities, conspiracies, judgments and
Christianity remained persisting and moved forward under the
power of Christ, the rising from the dead, till it changed the
Roman nation to a Christian one.
Paganism disappeared from the world and the whole land
became for God and His Christ.
Also, the resurrection of the body was a sign of rising from
About this matter, the apostle said "And you He made alive,
who were dead in trespasses and sins. ", "and raised us up
together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in
Christ Jesus, " (Eph 2:1,6)
May we all live under the power of the resurrection. This
resurrection which changed the disciples and made the empty
tomb a sign of perpetual triumph.
This resurrection which was the beginning of the power in the
life of the first church.
Some Of The Occurrences Of The Resurrection
The Lord Jesus Christ, glory be to Him, did not stop work for
the benefit of humanity even when His body was in the tomb.
He has done work between the crucifixion and the
God, by His resurrection, sanctified the human nature which is
liable to death and made it liable to the resurrection.
Before the resurrection, God, also, worked for our sake
even when His body was on the tomb.
By means of death His spirit was separated from His body
but His divinity never separated from His soul or His body.
His spirit, united with His divine nature, could do a
wonderful rescuing action for the sake of those who are
sleeping on hope.
With His death He paid the price of sin and bought us by His
blood. So, after He redeemed humanity, it was His right to
carry the sleeping from Hades to Paradise and it was so.
With His spirit, united with divinity, He went down to Hades to
say the good news to the sleeping there on hope. " ... He also
first descended into the lower parts of the earth? When He
ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to
men." (Eph 4:8).
He opened the gate of paradise and carried to Him the
righteous who were waiting in Hades. With them, He also
let in the right robber to paradise.
Indeed, how trustful He was when He said to Saint John, the
visionary, "And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." (Rev
1:18) (Phil 4:3)
Indeed, blessed are those whose names are written in the
book of life because death has no authority on them.
They may stay there for a time, as Jonah remained in the belly
of the huge fish (whale) then He rescued him safely without any
Thus, God brought out those who were in Hades and by His
authority He let them into Paradise.
This great deed was done by god in secret. Heaven praised
God. The sayings of the prophets were accomplished and
in secret, also, the Lord rose from the dead.
His spirit, united with His divinity, came and united with the
body which was united with divinity, then, He was raised by the
power of His divinity and went out of the tomb with its seals.
The Women Carrying Spices And Perfumes
It was something strange that the women took spices and
perfumes and went to the tomb while these perfumes do not
agree with believing in the resurrection.
But the Lord took interest in their love and treated the
defect found in their faith.
Did they carry the perfumes for the body which was in the
tomb? Hadn't they the faith that Christ had risen and left the
Thus, the good tidings of the angel revealed the same meaning
when he said to the two Marys "I know that you seek Jesus who
was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. "
The same words of reproach were said to the women, who
were carrying the perfumes and the spices, but with clearer style
"Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here,
but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still
in Galilee, saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the
hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise
again.' And they remembered His words." (Luke 24:5-8)
Yes, He, formerly, said that He would rise from the dead. He
did not only say those words to the women but many a time, he
said them to His disciples also.
If the Lord informed the disciples of His resurrection and
they did not believe Him, how much the more would those
The Disciples' Doubts
The resurrection of Christ was an occurrence never happened
before as He rose by Himself without any help from others and
His strange words, never said by anyone before, were verified.
" I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it
from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it
down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have
received from My Father." (John 10:17-18).
Who dared say such words except Christ? So, His resurrection
distracted the minds. It was above intelligence especially after
the events of the cross and the pains and the insults directed to
Him. And after the potency and authority with which the Jews
Thus, it was not easy for the disciples to believe in the
resurrection while they were afraid and hiding in the attic.
On the cross, He said "It is finished" which meant that the
redemption was completed and the price of sin was paid.
But, there was another work for Him to complete. It was a
work special for patronage.
Before Him, there were righteous persons who were troubled
and in need of soothing.
What would He do to strengthen their weakness and to banish
their doubts and fears?
He did not wish to blame these persons kindly for their
weakness or for their doubts or for their ingratitude but He
came to soothe them.
As He formerly said that He had not come to judge the people
but to save them; how much the more His own who were in the
world, He now showed them the full extent of His love. (John
Saint John said about this love "We love Him because He first
loved us." (1 John 4:19).
He did the same thing with Thomas who doubted in His
resurrection and insisted on putting his finger in the places of
the wounds. He did not blame him kindly for his doubts but
tackled the matter with him.
Jesus responded to Thomas and let him put his finger to be sure
of the places of the wounds.
The same thing happened with Peter, with Mary Magdalene and
with the two from Emmaus.
The Lord wished to strengthen the faith of those persons
who would carry faith all over the world and it was so.
Thus, the matter was not limited by His resurrection, but there
happened many appearances afterwards.
He stayed with the disciples for forty days during which " ...
after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by
them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to
the kingdom of God. to whom He also presented Himself
alive" (Acts 1:3)
What did the Bible say about the disciples who did not
believe in that resurrection and their repeated doubts
which caused others to stumble?
The Holy Bible says that He appeared first to Mary Magdalene
" ... She went and told those who had been with Him, as they
mourned and wept. " (Mark 16:10)
How did the disciples receive her good news about the
Saint Mark, the evangelist, gives the answer saying: " And
when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her,
they did not believe. " (Mark 16:9-11)
He appeared to the two from Emmaus who did not know Him
and who did not believe what the women had said about the
resurrection that Lord Jesus rebuked them saying "O foolish
ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have
spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and
to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the
Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things
concerning Himself." (Luke 24:25-27)
At last, those two from Emmaus believed. What was the
impression of their faith on the apostles?
Saint Mark says "And they went and told it to the rest, but they
did not believe them either.. " (Mark 16:13)
We hear, afterwards; that the women went to the tomb, entered
it and did not find Jesus' body. Then the angels appeared to
them and announced the good news of the resurrection.
They hurried away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples.
Saint Luke, the evangelist says "And their words seemed to
them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. " (Luke
These were the eleven apostles, the columns of the church,
before whom there were many testimonies as Mary Magdalene;
the two from Emmaus and the women... and they did not
Afterwards, Mary Magdalene hurried to Peter and John and
told them about the empty tomb. They immediately arrived and
went into the tomb "and he saw the linen cloths lying there,
and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying
with the linen cloths. " (John 20:6,7).
Here the Bible says about John "... he saw and believed. "
But inspite of all that we read something strange...
We read that after all of them knew that saying, "The Lord is
risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon! ". (Luke 24:34), it
happened that the Lord Himself stood among them and said to
them "Peace be with you. ".
Did they believe when He appeared to them and spoke with
No, "But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed
they had seen a spirit." . (Luke 24:37).
The Lord rebuked them for their situation and said to them
"Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me
and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I
have." (Luke 24:39).
If the disciples had thought that what they had seen had been a
ghost it would have been a heresy which would shake their as if
the body did nit rise. For this reason , the lord showed them his
hands and His feet .
Thus , the problem was not that of Tomas only to whom
the Lord said "Reach your finger here, and look at My
hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do
not be unbelieving, but believing." (John 20 :27). But , it was
the problem of the eleven apostles.
All of them complained ; all of them were in need of proofs
They needed feeling, touching and seeing the places of the
wounds in order to believe .
The Lord tackled the problem of their thinking him a ghost or a
About this matter Anba Peter the Sedmenty, said that the Lord
, during the period he spent in human nature on earth , He
proved his divine nature , but after the resurrection He
proved His human nature
The Lord Proves His Human Nature
Thus, after the resurrection, we hear that, in order to convince
them of His human nature, And He took it and ate in their
presence. (Luke 24:43)
He said so, while we know that the body of the resurrection is a
luminous spiritual body which neither eats nor drinks.
God did so to convince them of His human nature but, after the
ascension, His body had not any relation with this material food.
In all these matters we see that the Lord met the disciples'
doubts with convincing and not with rebuking or
They are the persons in whom He will have confidence to
promulgate faith all over the world. So, they themselves must
have a strong, firmly established faith which they can convey to
others, convincing and without any doubt. So, the Lord led
them to this strong faith.
If they did not acquire the faith which believes without
seeing, there would be no objection for them to begin with
faith which depends on senses although it is of a weak
The Lord condescended and accepted their sensuous faith, not
to be stabilised in Him but to be mere beginning that leads to
faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen" . (Heb 11: 1).
Thus Saint John said "That which was from the beginning,
which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,
which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, "
(1 John 1:1).
This faith which, in the beginning, depended on senses because
stronger and could convince the whole world with what it had
seen and heard lest some men should think that the apostles had
been deceived or believed in some matters which had not taken
So, we notice Saint Paul, the Apostle, announce good news
about what he had seen and beard on his way to Damascus.
He explained the whole matter to king Agrippa saying " ... O
king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than
the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me
... " (Acts 26:13-15)
The apostle concluded his words saying " Therefore, King
Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, " (Acts
This is The Lord Jesus Christ who worked to strengthen the
disciples' faith; who tackled Thomas' doubts; who comforted
Peter's sorrow and Mary Magdalene when she wept. It is He
who gave faith back to the church.
The Risen Christ Works For Us
The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead because it was
impossible for death to overcome Him. He bore in Himself the
power of His resurrection.
So, He was the only one who rose from the dead by Himself
without any help from anyone.
He rose, and by His resurrection, He gave humanity the blessing
of the resurrection " ... for the hour is coming in which all who
are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth ... " (John
He rose triumphant and trod on death to lead us in the
procession of His victory and to teach us not to fear death as
the apostle said afterwards "O Death, where is your sting? O
Hades, where is your victory?" (1 Cor 15:55)
God who has allowed death to enter our human nature,
also, with His mercy, has allowed the resurrection to do the
As He had created man from dust and, because of sin He has
brought Him back to dust, He, also, by the resurrection,
allowed this dust to be changed into a body once more but in a
Before His crucifixion, He said "My father is always at his work
to this very day, and I, too am working. "
After the resurrection the Lord continued His work not only to
soothe the fatigued souls and strengthen the weak disjoined
knees but also to make His disciples ready for service and able
to take over the great responsibility of preaching the Gospel to
In this way, after the resurrection, the Lord continued to
work for patronage.
By His resurrection, He gave the spirit of joy to His disciples as
He had told them before His crucifixion " ... but I will see you
again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take
from you. " (John 16:22)
It was so, and they got rid of fear and terror "The disciples
were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. (John 20:20)
They were greatly affected by the resurrection which
strengthened them so deeply that they testified to it.
In every circumstance, they used to preach the rising of the
Lord from the dead.
Those, who were afraid and hiding in the attic, appeared with
stout hearts and filled the world with evangelising.
They did not care for the threatening of the chiefs of the Jews.
They said to them "We ought to obey God rather than men."
"And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being
saved.. " (Acts 2:47)
"And with great power the apostles gave witness to the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon
them all. " (Acts 4.33)
As God stayed with Moses on the mountain a period of forty
days to give him the Laws and the copy of the tent of meeting
and its contents, the Lord also appeared to the Disciples over a
period of forty days and spoke " of the things pertaining to the
kingdom of God. " (Acts 2:3).
Indeed, there is time for tranquillity, contemplation and recess
while attending others has another time.
The Lord Jesus Christ stayed with God a period of forty days in
a spiritual recess. He, also spent another period of forty days
with his disciples during which he taught them and confirmed
their faith. He gave them the creed and all the details of faith,
the sacred sacraments of the church and instructed them how to
He also gave them all the arrangements concerning worship.
The resurrection of the Lord became the centre of the disciples'
joy and the subject of their preaching.
It was a period of delivery, teaching and comprehension.
After that, He also appeared to Saint Paul who said about the
Sacrament of Eucharist "For I received from the Lord that
which I also delivered to you ... " (1 Cor 11:23).
Thus, the act of delivery went on successively from the Lord to
His disciples and then to others and so on.
The Lord delivered Paul; but what did Paul do? He says to His
disciple Timothy "And the things that you have heard from me
among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will
be able to teach others also.. " (2 Tim . 2:2).
Thus, after He had taught His disciples, He said to them before
his ascension, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to
every creature. " (Mark 16:15).
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have
commanded you; " (Matt 28:19,20).
And, as He handed instruction over to them he committed
baptism as well.
As for instruction and baptism. He did not charge the whole
people with them but only the disciples who delivered them to
their successors, the bishops.
Those bishops, by turns, gave them to honest persons adequate
for the job and not to the common people. It is a sacerdotal
work done by priests.
So, He handed priesthood over to them before delivering
instruction and baptism.
With priesthood He gave them the power to forgive sins.
Thus, Saint John, in. his gospel, explains to us how the Lord
appeared to His disciples.
He entered, with the doors locked, and said to them "Peace be
with you. As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you. And
when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them,
Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are
forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
The act of the Holy Spirit bestowing authority of priesthood
and forgiving sin on the disciples differs from that on the
Pentecost when the Holy Spirit bestowed on them the talent of
speaking in new tongues and the power of preaching the
The Power Of Christianity And Abolition Of
The resurrection was so powerful that it reminded us of the
words of the Bible "With men this is impossible , but with God
all things are possible." (Matt 19:26)
This power which amazed Paul, the Apostle that he said about
the Lord " that I may know Him and the power of His
resurrection, "(Phil 3:10).
God has granted us that power of His resurrection that
everything became possible with the believer, About this
matter, Paul, the Apostle, said " I can do all things through
Christ who strengthens me. "(Phil 4:13).
After the Lord has trampled death, there is nothing difficult or
impossible before us.
He gave us victory over it and opened the locked gate of
He put that nice song in our tongues.
"O Death, where [is] your sting?
Hades, where [is] your victory?" (1 Cor 15:5).
The power of the resurrection encouraged the disciples and
gave them boldness to preach the Gospel.
Who could think that those weak persons who had hidden in the
attic could preach the Gospel publicly and without opposition!?
Who could think that twelve men, most of them were ignorant
fishermen can spread Christianity all over the world?
The resurrection has taught us that there is nothing
impossible. With God everything is possible, It is possible for
the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the weak
things of the world to shame the strong.
It seemed very difficult for Christianity to stand against
Paganism and the ancient religions whose roots were fixed and
stable in men's creeds.
Moreover, it seemed difficult to oppose or stand against
Judaism which tried to exterminate or to extirpate Christianity.
It also seemed difficult to stand against the philosophies which
were prevalent at that time or against the Roman Empire with
its tyranny and its armed forces.
It seemed difficult for Christianity to face all these powers
and to overcome them but the power they received from the
resurrection of Christ and His triumph over death gave
them an admirable energy.
Who could think that Peter, the ignorant fisherman can with one
sermon, transmute three thousand Jews to Christian faith?
A famous eloquent preacher needs great effort to turn, with
one sermon some sinners to repentance but to let three
thousand persons change their religion after listening to one
sermon seems to be something imaginative!
It is the power which the apostles received from the Holy Spirit
and which changed them before they could change the people.
It remained with them and with it they did miracles.
Who could think that those apostles go to foreign countries
where there was not even one Christian, no possibilities to
perform religious service and in spite of all these difficulties they
began from naught and could change the inhabitants' religion
into Christianity ... ?
Indeed the resurrection taught us that there is nothing
difficult and that everything is possible with the believer.
Who could think that Saul, from Tarsus, the most enormous
persecutor of his time against Christianity becomes Paul, the
greatest apostle who evangelised Christianity?
Who could think that the centurion, the general of the soldiers,
who crucified Christ, adopted Christianity and died as a martyr
because of it becomes a saint?
Who could think that the robber, on the right, believes when he
was on the cross?
Who could think that Pilate's wife believes and asks her husband
for the sake of "that righteous one?"
With Grace of God everything becomes possible. God is
capable of everything. He who overcomes death, the most
dangerous enemy, has the power to overcome any difficulty.
Everything is quite easy before Him.
Who could think that Mary Magdalene, in whom there were
seven devils becomes a preacher and announces good news of
the resurrection to the apostles.
This power of the resurrection assured us that there is nothing
What we saw in preaching we witnessed in repentance:
The power of repentance which changed the worst sinners
into the greatest saints and not to mere repentant taught us
that there is nothing impossible.
The utmost thing men expected from Augustine, the debauchee,
was his repentance. But to become a saint by whom the
generations benefit was something difficult not expected by
The same thing can be said about Black Moses, the cruel killer,
who became a modest, meek and humble saint.
Nothing is difficult before God. Isn't He who said "What are
you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall
become a plain!" (Zec 4:7).
God who makes the barren a rejoicing mother with sons and
says to her "Sing, O barren, You [who] have not borne! ...
Enlarge the place of your tent, ... For you shall expand to the
right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the
nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. " (Is 54:1-3)
Christ's birth as well as His resurrection were wonderful
and strange events which prove that there is nothing
impossible. His miracles, also, prove the same thing.
The act of incarnation seemed, in men's view, to be something
impossible!! How can God make Himself nothing and take the
very nature of a servant? How can a virgin become pregnant
and give birth to a child without matrimony?
So, the resurrection was something impossible. Thence, the
Jews were afraid lest it should take place and considered it
worse than the first deception.
In spite of all that, incarnation took place; the virgin gave birth
to a child and the resurrection happened.
Christianity is not a religion of weakness but a religion of
strength. It gives man wonderful energies. It cancels the
Christianity is a religion of power
There is nothing difficult in Christianity. In it there is neither
despondency nor failure. Through it " I can do all things
through Christ who strengthens me. "(Phil 4:13).
There are some things which seem difficult in Christianity
such as: the cross; the narrow gate, and in spite of that the
Christians carried the cross and entered through the
narrow gate chanting the words of the apostle "And His
commandments are not burdensome. (1 John. 5:3)
Yes, in the world's view, how difficult it is to turn the other
cheek, to go the second mile, to love your enemy and to sell
everything and give the price to the poor.
How difficult it is to follow a religion which calls upon
devoutness and monasticism.
This religion, which seems difficult, spread everywhere. The
people entered in its devoutness by their own will. They longed
for its pains and were desirous of being martyrs. They took up
the cross as an emblem.
The difficult commandment in Christianity bears in itself
the power to carry it out.
Christianity has offered humanity excellent models and eminent
commandments. But at the same time it presented to people
spiritual ability and assistance from Grace to practise these
models easily and with pleasure.
It gave men the spiritual life as well as the Holy Spirit to reside
in them and offer them the power to behave spiritually.
Christian commandments seem difficult to those who are
outside, who do not live in Grace and who did not take part
in the Holy Spirit.
But, to the believer, these difficult commandments become
an inordinate desire and spiritual enjoyment that he does
not find any difficulty.
The believer puts on the full armour of God with which he can
take his stand against the devil's schemes.
He fully believes that he does not stand alone in his spiritual and
He believes that "for the battle is the Lord's." (1Sam 17:47)
who is able to conquer whether with great numbers or few
He always feels that a divine power keeps close to him and
works with him.
Thus, the life of the believer is a lasting victory because
God leads him in His triumphal procession and "The Lord
will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." (Ex
He who becomes conscious of failure has not put Grace to the
test yet. He has not experienced the work of God whether in
him or with him.
How wonderful are the words of the Lord to His disciples when
He spoke to them about miracles "Most assuredly, I say to you,
he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and
greater works than these he will do," (John 14:12)
Christianity is a religion of power. It began with the
resurrection which overcame death, opened the gates of
Hades, led captives in His train and let the righteous enter
Then we witness the power of preaching and the powerful
endurance of the martyrs.
With great power, the apostles used to give testimony. With
it they stood before the authorities and spoke without
Stephen could astound three synagogues "And they were
not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he
spoke. " (Acts 6:10).
Thus "Then the word of God spread , and the number of the
disciples multiplied greatly"(Acts 6:7) with the power of
miracles and marvels, with the power of the word, with the
poker of a heart, stood firm before sword and fire, with a
power put on them from heaven. As the Lord said to them
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come
upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me" (Acts 1:8).
With this power He gave them authority on all the devils and on
the cruelty of the enemy.
He, also, gave them the keys of heaven and earth.
In their prayers, there was a power which shook the place.
They received power from the angels around them who broke
the chains and brought them out of prison.
Thus, there were two powers, one, within themselves and
the other around them.
This power caused Paganism to be exterminated and fade away.
It is the power of the defenceless Christianity which overcame
an empire fully armed till it yielded to the new religion and
It is the power of the cross which they thought a sign of
weakness while it was a source of power and pride.
The Christian is a strong man with a sturdy spirit and
perfect morals. He fears nothing. His power is derived not
from his own self but from the Spirit of God.
Pilate feared the defenceless Christ and wished to set Him free.
Felix, the governor, trembled when Paul, the captive, spoke
about the judgement day.
It is the power of Christ who said "but be of good cheer, I have
overcome the world." (John 16:33).
It is the power of the monastic hearts which lead an ascetic life
and which overcame all the worldly desires. They led a sacred
life which distracted men's minds and terrified the devil.
It is the power expressed in Augustine's words "I sat on the
top of the world when I felt within myself that I desired
nothing and feared nothing. "
It is the power of divestment, monasticism and chastity.
If we are enjoying the joys of the resurrection let us live in its
power and overcome death, that death which resulted fro-in sin,
in order to rise in the resurrection of the righteous.
Questions Related To The Resurrection.
The Glorified Body Between The Body Of The
Resurrection And The Body Of Birth
With what kind of body did the Lord Jesus Christ rise?
Did He rise with an ordinary body like ours or with a
glorified body? If He rose with a glorified one what would
be the meaning of: "He ate in the presence of His
disciples?" (Luke 24:43). What is the meaning of "they
touched His flesh and His bones?" (Luke 24:39)
Was the glorified body, with which the Lord rose, the same
body He took from The Virgin? Why don't we say that He
was born with a glorified body?
Undoubtedly, the body of the resurrection, in
general, is a glorified body.
Saint Paul explained this glory saying "The body that is sown is
perishable, it is raised imperishable,. it is sown in dishonour, it
is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power,
it is sown a natural, it is raised a spiritual body. " (1 Cor
If we shall be raised with a glorified body - a
spiritual body - how much the more was Christ's
This resurrection was the first fruits of those who have fallen
asleep. (1 Cor 15:20,23). So will it be with us when we will be
raised in the general resurrection.
The clearest proof that we will be raised in the likeness of His
glorious resurrection is the saying of Saint Paul, the Apostle, in
his Epistle to the Philippians "who will transform our lowly
body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, " (Phil
Thus, The Lord Jesus Christ has risen with a glorified body and
so will it be with us "conformed His glorious body. "
This is a clear matter which needs neither proof nor argument.
It is well known that the glorified body is a spiritual one
according to the words of Paul the Apostle in his first Epistle to
the Corinthians (1 Cor 15:44,49).
The spiritual body has risen high above materials as food and
drink and above flesh and bones....
How was it said then that Christ had eaten after His
resurrection and that He had flesh and bones?
This matter is very clear in the Bible according to our teacher
Luke, the Evangelist. He wrote about Christ's appearance to
His disciples after the resurrection " But they were terrified and
frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to
them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your
hearts? "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself.
Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones
as you see I have. When He had said this, He showed them His
hands and His feet. " (Luke 24:37-40)
In the same chapter and in the same occasion He took a piece of
broiled fish and ate it in their presence (Luke 24:41-43). How
can we explain that matter?
4. We explain that matter by the following: He wished to
prove to them the resurrection of His body, while they did
not understand the meaning of the spiritual body.
At that time, they did not understand the entity of the spiritual
body. They never heard of such words.
Of course, without the proofs given to them as eating and
touching His flesh and His bones, they would have thought Him
a spirit. (Luke 24:37), a mere spirit without body. In their
understanding it meant that the body had not risen.
The important matter in the resurrection is "The
rising of the body."
It is because the spirit is, by nature, a living thing which does
Only the body dies when it is separated from the spirit. It
changes into dust, but the spirit remains alive in the waiting
Thus, the resurrection is the rising of the body which will unite
with the spirit once more.
In the Liturgy of renouncing the devil from the baptistery we
say "We believe in the resurrection of the body."
As the disciples thought they had seen a ghost, it meant that the
idea of the rising of the body was far from their minds.
So, it was necessary to convince them with it in order that they
might convince others.
Here, we mention the words of Saint Peter, the Sedmenty
"Before His crucifixion, The Lord Jesus Christ used to
prove His divinity to the people, but after the resurrection
He wished to prove man's proper nature."
The spirit alone does not represent a complete human nature. It
is necessary to prove that the body has risen. Thus He said to
Thomas "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and
reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be
unbelieving, but believing." (John 20:27) He said to His
disciples "Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh
and bones as you see I have." (Luke 24:39)
Also, He allowed Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, when
they came to Him and worshipped Him after the resurrection to
clasp His feet (Matt 28:9) All this was to prove the rising of the
This spiritual glorified body was that which went up
Perhaps the act of ascension may not agree with a material body
submitting to the law of earthly gravity because it is heavier
than air; but He went up, in glory, with a spiritual body and with
the same glory He sat at the right hand of God.
This same glorified body will come back "in His glory. " (Matt
25:3 1) " in His [own] glory, and [in] [His] Father's, " (Luke
The glory of the ascension and that of the second coming is not
only a mere miracle but it is also special case in His nature
This glorified body is that body with which He
appeared to Saul, from Tarsus, on his way to Damascus.
when " suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then
he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul,
Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are
You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are
persecuting.". (Acts 9:3-5)
This glorified body is the same body with which He
was born of the Virgin.
But that body with which He was born was not so glorious as
that of the resurrection because in His birth, '"but made Himself
of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant," (Phil 2:7).
The act of making Himself nothing ended in the glory of the
resurrection and ascension.
The body of the resurrection was the same body of
the birth; but in a case of transfiguration. He gave us a
handsel of it on the mountain of transfiguration. (Mark 9:2,3)
As an example of comparison - measurement but with
difference the three young men in the fiery furnace. Their
bodies were the same bodies but they were granted, for a time,
a kind of transfiguration which kept them from the harm of the
The resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ was with the same
body of birth but in glory or in a case of transfiguration which
gave the body a glorified nature, then it became a spiritual one.
The same steps will happen to us.
Some may ask "Did Christ's body take His glorified
nature immediately after the Resurrection or after the
I say to you "His body took that nature during the resurrection
The cases with which He proved His human nature were
nothing but exceptional cases in order that the disciples might
believe that His body had risen and, with confidence, spread
faith saying " ... which we have heard, which we have seen with
our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have
handled," (1 John 1:1) "even to us who ate and drank with Him
after He arose from the dead." (Acts 10:41)
In cases other than these cases, the glorified body of the
resurrection does not drink or eat any material thing. It needs
nothing. It does not feel hungry or thirsty.
In glory it does not feel tired. It does not suffer pain. It does
not become subject to death.
Entering the locked doors and coming out of the
closed places are clear proofs of the glory of the body of the
In the attic, with the doors locked, He came in and stood among
the disciples. He did so many times (John 20:19,26)
In His resurrection, He went out of the tomb with the entrance
sealed. It was after the resurrection that the angel came and
rolled the big stone in order that all men might see the empty
tomb. (The women and all men) and not for Christ to come out
because He had formerly come out with the entrance closed and
Among the examples of His coming out of the closed things
is His getting out of the shrouds with the mummification
substances while they remained where they were.
He, formerly, came out of The Virgin 's womb. Here some may
ask: Was the Lord born with a glorified body as that of the
resurrection? The answer is as follows:
The Lord Jesus Christ was born with a body like
ours. He resembled us in everything except sin.
He took our human nature for which He was called "The Son of
Man " and with which He could redeem us.
"So the child grew and became strong in spirit,. " (Luke 1:80)
"He was hungry." (Matt 4:2)
"I thirst!" (John 19:28)
"Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey," (John 4:6)
"But He was asleep." (Matt 8:24)
In Gethsemane "Then His sweat became like great drops of
blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:44)
If He had not taken our human nature, He would
not have felt pain.
He was in a nature liable to feel pain. Through the body He
suffered pain. He experienced the pains of beating, flogging
Many a time He fell under the cross when He carried it, that
Simon, from Cyrene, carried it for Him.
His nature was liable to death, so, He died on behalf of us and
redeemed us while the glorified body did not feel pain and did
Thus, He was born with a human nature liable to pain and
death, to suffering and sorrow.
In this way, this human nature could accomplish the act of
redemption, then, it was glorified in the resurrection.
The glory of His nature before the redemption was
an impeccable one.
His birth, the period of Mary's pregnancy, the time He spent on
earth were spiritual glories done by His good will but His body
was, in everything, like ours except for sin.
He made Himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant.
His unity with divinity is considered one of His
This unity lessened nothing of His human nature. It did not
nullify the weaknesses of the body as hunger, thirst, weariness
and death. Otherwise redemption would have lost its nature
and its value.
His pains were true, so was His redemption. He made Himself
nothing in order that He, in His resurrection, might bestow
glory on us.
Because He made Himself nothing from glory, He, before the
crucifixion, said to God "Father glorify Your Son,
that Your Son may glorify You." "O Father, glorify Me
together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You
before the world was." (John 17 :1-5)
It was said about the resurrection "but when Jesus
was glorified,.... (John 12:16).
The disciples could not bear seeing His glory.
Thus, when John, the beloved one, saw some of God's glory in
the Revelation "I fell at His feet as dead." Why? "His head
and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes
like a flame of fire". (Rev 1:17,16,14)
For these reasons, the Lord advanced gradually with
His disciples when He showed them the glory of His
He did so with the Magdalene, who, at first, thought Him the
gardener, then, at last He revealed Himself to her (John
He did the same thing with the two of Emmaus, with whom He
walked along But their eyes were restrained, so that they did
not know Him.. (Luke 24:16)
With the disciples, He used the same style of graduation in
order that they might bear these matters because seeing Him
after the resurrection with His glorified body was not so easy.
It was a story too long to be supported by this treatise.
Does this mean that we shall not see Him in His
glory? If we shall see Him: how and when?
Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to
His glorious body, (Phil 3:21) then we shall see Him and as the
apostle says "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face
to face. " (1 Cor 13:12)
What is the meaning of the phrase ':face to face"? How will
that be accomplished?
My brothers, now, it is better for me to keep silent for this is
easier and better by far.
Do Not Hold On To Me
Why did the Lord appear to Mary Magdalene after the
Why did He say to her ""Do not cling to Me," (John. 20:17)
While He allowed Saint Thomas to touch Him? (John
He, also, allowed the rest of the apostles to touch him.
Did He prevent her from touching Him because she is a
Did He allow them to touch Him because they are men?
The Lord Jesus Christ allowed Mary Magdalene to touch Him
before anyone of the apostles, as it was mentioned in their first
meeting after the resurrection in (Matt. 24)
Mary Magdalene, with the other Mary went to look at the
tomb. The tomb was empty. The big stone was rolled away
from the entrance.
The angel told them the good news of the resurrection of the
Lord. On leaving the tomb, the Lord met them and said to
them "Peace be with you. "(John 20:19).
Here, Saint Matthew, the Evangelist says, "So they came and
held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. ". (Matt 28:9)
So, Mary Magdalene has touched Christ after the
The Lord did not prevent her from touching Him because she is
a woman but, on the contrary, He charged her with going to His
disciples and telling them about the good news of the
resurrection and her meeting with Him in the Galilee.
It was a great honour that the Lord charged a woman with
carrying good news to the apostles.
But it happened afterwards that Mary Magdalene yielded
to the doubts spread by the chief priests about the
They filled the world with rumours announcing that the body
was stolen from the tomb while the guards were sleeping.
It was possible for these rumours to leave no effect on Mary
were it not for her to see that the apostles themselves did not
believe in the resurrection.
As for the doubts of the disciples, they were very clear as they
did not believe the story of the resurrection.
Mary has gone to them and told them the good news of Christ's
resurrection. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she
had seen Him, they did not believe it. (Mark 16:9-11)
When Mary Magdalene saw that Jesus' apostles did not
believe her and trusted neither the other women nor the
two from Emmaus, she began to doubt.
She was still a young lady and perhaps what she had seen at the
tomb was a dream or imagination. Had she faith stronger than
that of the apostles? It is something absurd.
She thought in herself; perhaps some men might have stolen the
body and carried it from its place!
They might not be the apostles but other men, perhaps the
gardener, for example, might have taken it for any reason!
Of course, all these were doubts against faith because she
herself saw the empty tomb. She also saw Christ, touched
Him and heard His voice.
Moreover, she heard the good news from the angel, then
from the two angels.
As Peter had denied Christ three times during the judgment, so
did Mary Magdalene. She denied the resurrection of the Lord
three times. These denials are written in one chapter. (John
The first denial took place when she went to the Saints
Peter and John and said to them "They have taken the Lord out
of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put Him!"
These words mean that God has not yet risen from the dead as
they have taken His body and put it another place.
The second denial took place when she was weeping
outside the tomb and the two angels asked her "Woman, why
are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken
away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."
The third denial took place when The Lord Jesus
Christ appeared to her. Because of her weeping, she did not see
Him well and thought Him to be the gardener. Perhaps He
concealed Himself from her ... She said to Him "Sir, if You have
carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will
take Him. " (John 20.-15)
When He showed Himself to her and she knew Him, she cried
out "Rabboni!" (which means: Teacher)
The Lord prevented her from touching Him to rebuke her
for denying His resurrection three times.
Also, it was not permissible for her to touch Him with her
precarious faith as if He were a common person carried by
someone to any place.
She said to Peter and John "They have taken away the Lord out
of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."
She said to the two angels " they have taken away my Lord, and
I do not know where they have laid Him " (John 20:13).
She said to the Lord thinking He was the gardener "Sir, if You
have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, "
All her words were repetition to the soldiers' pretence and
showed her precarious faith.
The Lord said to her "Do not cling to Me ..." which means
'Don't approach Me with your shaken faith and with you
doubts after you have seen Me, clasped My feet and heard
'Don't approach Me after I have charged you with a
message to My disciples.'
'Don't approach Me after you have seen the tomb and
heard the angels' testimony.'
'Don't hold on to Me with your denial, for I have not yet
returned to the Father.'
As for the phrase " I have not yet ascended to My Father. "
(John 20:17) Saint Severus, from Antioch as well as Saint
Augustine did not take it literally but symbolically because she
had held on Him before.
The two saints added that the Lord wished to say to her "Don't
hold on to Me with your precarious faith because I have not
reached in your mind the standard of My Father's divinity.
"You think My body is still dead and the people can carry it
wherever they wish!!"
However, He consoled her and at the same time He charged her
with a message to the apostles.
Feed My Lambs, Take Care Of My Sheep
Why do we deny Peter's headship while the Lord said to
him after the resurrection: "Feed My lambs,. take care of
The Lord Jesus Christ did not say these phrases to him in
order to appoint him Pastor of the Universal Church but to
bring him back to the apostolic rank which he was on the
point of losing because of his denial.
With this phrase, the Lord made him equal to the other apostles.
He was exposed to the text which says "But he who denies Me
before men will be denied before the angels of God." (Luke
12:9) to be applied to him.
It is clear that The Lord Jesus Christ said to him "Tend My
sheep." in a reprimand situation as He asked him three times
saying "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" (John 21: 15-
By these words, the Lord wished to remind him of his denials.
Moreover His question carried a light reprimand with which the
Lord reminds Peter of his words " Even if all are made to
stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble "
In that situation we notice that The Lord Jesus Christ
called him by his old name before he was given the name
The most conspicuous proof that the Lord meant by his words
some reprimand was the shame and the sorrow that appeared on
Peter's face after the Lord had said to him "Take care of My
sheep" because he understood the Lord's aim.
If the phrase had been said in a good circumstance of
magnifying or investiture, it could have caused Peter joy and
Patronage is a job God has invested with rank to many as it
appears in many texts of the Holy Bible.
All the apostles are patrons. The Lord Jesus Christ is the chief
But Go, Tell His Disciples And Peter
After Christ's resurrection, the angel said to the Marys "tell
His disciples; and Peter; that He is going before you into
Galilee; there you will see Him, " (Mark 16:7). Does
mentioning Peter by name mean that he was preferable to
The Lord wished to give Peter special care because he was
perturbed about himself and about his destiny after his denial,
blasphemy, denunciation and saying " I do not know the Him. "
If the Lord applied to Peter the text " he who denies Me before
men will be denied before the angels of God. " (Luke 12:9)
he would perish.
He mentioned Peter by name as a kind of sympathy and
consolation because of denial and sin.
Perhaps he was too ashamed of the Lord to be able to meet
Him without a special call.
Don't, you see with me that Adam, after he had sinned hid from
the face of God and was afraid of Him?
When the Lord God called to him "Where are you?", he
answered "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid
because I was naked; and I hid myself." (Gen 3:9).
Peter was in the same situation. He was in need of a special call
Thus, the matter is not a subject of headship or preference
but consoling a poor person.
About The Events Of The Resurrection And Their
Coincidence With Each Other
Is there any contradiction among the events of the
resurrection according to what was written in the four
A gospel mentions one angel. Another gospel mentions two
Also the persons who visited the tomb. Some gospels differ
in regard to them.
There is no contradiction. Each gospel mentioned a special visit
accomplished at a time different from that of the other visit and
with other persons.
The first visit was mentioned by Matthew's gospel. The tomb
was empty. The angel said the good news to Mary Magdalene
and to the other Mary. The appearance of the Lord to the two
of Emmaus, The women's visit. (Luke 24)
But the visit of Mary Magdalene and seeing the Lord as if He
were the gardener was accomplished afterwards. (John 20).
Different visits at different times.
If it had been one event, there would have been contradiction
but they were many events, appearances and visits.
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium