By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.” Matthew 28:5-6

What happened then? The immediate beginning of many live appearances is what happened. Not dreams, not visions, not delusions. Actual real, live interaction with the resurrected, very alive, LORD Jesus Christ.

He appeared to Mary, to the other women, to Peter, to James, His brother, to two disciples walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, to all the apostles minus doubting Thomas and a deceased Judas, then to all the apostles with doubting, now believing, Thomas, to 500 people at the same time, to some of the apostles on a beach after a fruitless night of fishing, to all the apostles, with some of His followers, first listening to the great commission and then watching as He ascended into heaven, to Saul/Paul’s dramatic confrontation with the living LORD on the road to Damascus. And, I most likely missed some of these. 

Jesus made sure His very own knew He was alive and in the land of the living. And He wanted them to know that He ascended to sit at the right hand of God, while the Holy Spirit resided here in them. 

Why did Jesus appear just to His own, to His brothers and sisters, and not those who crucified and scorned Him? Why not the Chief Priests? Why not Pilate? Why not the Roman Emperor, Caesar? 

Well, God’s ways are far above our ways. He knows what He is about. He has a plan He is fulfilling. The man Christ Jesus is following God’s plan, and He is God. 

We know all this because it is told to us precisely in His Word. And just as He told Peter and John at the beach after His resurrection, John did see Jesus again before He Himself died. It would happen in an extraordinary vision when John was an exiled prisoner on an island called Patmos.

“The Revelation” was thus revealed to John and written down for your eyes and mine. “Blessed are you if you read aloud the words of this book,” Revelation 1 tells you. 

This vision is the revealing of the days from the empty tomb til’ time is no more. This revelation seems strange, and foreign, and beyond your imagination, but the words will be finally and fully understood when they are fulfilled in history—a fulfillment exactly as these events are prophesied. 

Death could not hold the Redeemer. The sting of death is removed, the LORD is victorious over Satan and death (Christus victor), and Jesus reigns forevermore. He is the final King in the Dravidic reign, whose throne would last forever. His victory is secured at the cross when he cries out, “It is finished,” and that victory has continually been taking place one day at a time ever since. 

The Resurrection is the confirmation of all Christ won on the cross, and it is the capstone of all that takes place from that Resurrection to the Final White Throne Judgment of God. You can count on it! 

All those who are “in Christ” will rest secure in His hand through all the severe events of those last days. For you need not fear anything that transpires “after the tomb is empty!”


“On the first day of the week Mary came, the grave to seek; Jesus met her by the way on that first resurrection day!
Rising like the morning sun, bringing hope to everyone; praise the LORD, His work was done, Jesus is my morning sun.”
(1st verse of James Ward’s hymn, “Jesus Is My Morning Sun,” 1975)

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