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RELIGION: Passover -- Resurrection!

March 31, 2021 at 5:22 a.m.

The Passover is all about Jesus, and we have historical verification that Jesus was born, lived, died and came back to life!

You question the statement? Well, you're not alone. Most people, including many in the Church, believe that Jesus was born and was crucified. But verification that HE IS ALIVE?

I'll tell you plainly: Verification is clearly printed in the oldest history book in the world. It's called The Holy Bible.

Sure, it is undoubtedly the grandest spiritual book of all times, but don't believe the lie that it is ONLY a book about the Jewish and Christian religions. It's also a history book, and much of its information has been supported by secular history books and confirmed by archeology. Let me tell you about Jesus' resurrection. Passover was March 27 (four days ago), so you should be aware of this topic.

Jesus was crucified Thursday morning (Matt. 12:40). The sky was darkened around noon (Matt.27:45). He finally triumphantly proclaimed, "It is finished! Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" (John 19:30) and died around 3 p.m. (Matt. 27:46-50) just as the Passover lambs were being sacrificed. A powerful earthquake shook the land (Matthew 27:51–52). His friends, led by a member of the Sanhedrin, took him off the cross and bound his body in long strips of linen cloth. They placed him in a new burial room, or tomb. They would be back to finish the job in three days--after both the High Sabbath (Passover) and regular Sabbath (Saturday) celebrations had been completed (John 19:31, Matt. 27:57–60). In that year, the Passover (the high Sabbath) was on what we call Friday, just before the weekly Sabbath, Saturday (John 19:31).

The guards had been positioned. They were ordered to stand guard for a minimum of three days. Their job was to prevent Jesus' friends from stealing His body and claiming that He had come back to life (Matt. 27:62–66). Many folks were in their homes eating the Passover supper and were glad this day was over. It had been a turbulent day and they were worried, for the graveyards had been badly damaged during the earthquake, opening many graves (Matt. 27:50–53). It might take weeks to rebury the dead.

Jesus' disciples were grieving. Their friend, master and hoped-for Messiah was dead! The kingdom He had promised now appeared to be a dissipating mist, and the hated foreigners -- the Romans -- were still ruling Israel!

But there was activity in the place of the dead. The spirits in "Abraham's bosom" (Luke 16:22-23), the place of the righteous dead, were awaiting orders from Jesus, their Savior. Jesus spoke with Lucifer and another group of people; some were sad, many were angry. Finally, Lucifer, defeated, reluctantly bowed and surrendered his authority to his Master: Jesus (1 Peter 3:19, Eph. 4:7–10). Jesus then turned to the jubilant group and said, "Follow Me!"

Back in the graveyard it was the third night of the third day -- still dark in what we would call early Sunday morning. Near the tomb, one fourth of the soldiers were on guard while the others were either sleeping or somewhere else.

Suddenly, there was another earthquake about as strong as the one three days earlier. It awoke the sleeping guards and they all saw the stone roll away from the front of the tomb. As the stone was rolling away, they saw an unearthly, brilliant light that was brighter than the noonday sun. When they saw Jesus, whose face shone like lightning, fear such as these soldiers had never known before paralyzed them. They collapsed, falling unconscious to the ground as though they were dead (Matt. 28:1–4). Then the resurrected Messiah walked out of the tomb!

Remember the graves that had opened up three days earlier? Just as our Lord came out of His grave thousands, perhaps millions, of others around the Middle East were coming out of their graves. Jesus led them from death to life to emphasize His own resurrection. Those people told of the glory and the power of God for about forty days (Matt. 27:50–54). When Jesus ascended to heaven these resurrected folks left earth also, never to die again. And Jesus will return in the same manner in which He left (Acts 1:9).

It is our job to tell people about Jesus, our resurrected Lord. Spread the Good News of what Jesus did--and will yet do. Remember: JESUS IS ALIVE!

-- S. Eugene Linzey is the author of 'Charter of the Christian Faith.' Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his website at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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