Comparing the Gospel’s Account of the Resurrection of Jesus
Today we want to compare the gospel’s account of the resurrection of Jesus. This subject may be out of season however while explaining to a bright beautiful young lady that Jesus rose from the grave on what we call Saturday rather than what we have thought all along, Sunday.
I’d like to say and remind us that we may all see an event or hear it and have slightly different reviews from it. And this is probably the case in the comparisons of the accounts of this event.
In St. John chapter 20, the scripture says
1The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
Before we look at the other accounts of this story by (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) there are two things that should come to our attention. One, it was still dark outside when Mary got to the tomb of Jesus and this means the sun had not yet came out or rose.
His Entire Body…
This defeats a sun-rise service because by the time the sun had risen on that particular Sunday; Jesus was already risen out of the tomb and alive. Like a man risen out of sleep, Jesus was already awake, made His bed and was off into the day restored in strength.
The second thing was that He was gone. Not just His spirit but His entire body as well. So remember, it was dark when Mary got there and Jesus was already gone. The dark part of the day or the night would be the beginning of the first day of the week. This is equivalent to what we call Saturday night going into Sunday and Jesus was already gone.
Matthew chapter 28 (Matthew’s account)
1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
Now I’m only listing the scriptures up to the point when they left to go tell Peter and the apostles that Jesus was not in the tomb. This account says at the end of the Sabbath towards the first day of the week (Sunday) they ran into an angel who told them that Jesus was not there.
They again, later ran into Jesus. There is an underlying theme in the two so far; its early Sunday dark out and Jesus is not in the tomb; He has been alive.
Mark chapter 16 (Mark’s account)
1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
3And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
9Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
Mark says the Sabbath had past and the Mary’s came very early in the morning of the first day of the week (Sunday) at the rising of the sun. Now it is still early and it is at the rising of the sun and when they looked, still there was no Jesus.
If Jesus is said to have rose Sunday morning the women would have seen or watched it as it happened. Verse nine says when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week… we can perceive this to mean He was rising; but Mark is saying He was already risen by the first day.
Again, the take-away here is that it was early Sunday morning and Jesus again was already gone.
Luke chapter 24 (Luke’s account)
1Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8And they remembered his words,
9And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
Mary Came Early to the Tomb…
Again, very early in the morning on the first day of the week (Sunday) the women came to the tomb. And they did not find the body of Jesus. He was already gone. Each account makes it clear it was early and the body of Jesus was not found.
St. John let’s us know how early it was but some people can get hung up on the differences of the accounts by each disciple. Why so different?
As you read each account you can tell what the flow of events were. John said Mary came early Sunday while it was still dark outside. This would be during the spring time so the days would be a bit longer. To give an approximate time on it let us say for the sake of clarification it was 3am.
Mary Stayed …
She ran to tell Peter and the disciples that Jesus was not in the grave. Peter and some the disciples came back with her to see for sure. Let us guess it’s 4am. It would be typically probably still dark out. The disciples did not want to be seen in Jerusalem. This is because all the commotion concerning their association with Jesus.
Peter and the guys examine the place and go back home; but Mary stays there let’s say up until 430am crying trying to understand everything and praying. Then some of the Mary’s who were to meet Mary Magdalene finally get there and find her crying they console and talk and try to figure things out.
We move into 5am they separate for moment and while Mary was by herself two angels talk to her she gets startled and makes some noise the other women come to see and the angel addresses them as well telling them the Lord is risen; go tell the brothers.
They leave to tell the disciples, Mary lingering runs into Jesus Himself, that is when He tells her not to touch Him. We are well into 7am and the sun is out.
Here is the Point…
The way these guys tell the story, you would have to make up too much to really tell what happened. St. John recanted the story as if Mary Magdalene was the only one there. The other three speak in plural saying “they.” Or they add the other Mary, or Mary the mother of James (who had the same earthly mother as Jesus), and Salome the sister of Jesus.
Mark does say that Jesus first appeared however to Mary Magdalene as it was told in St. John. The underlying point is that it was very early in the morning when the women got to the tomb, and Jesus had been long gone!
Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure it out just pick your favorite gospel and understand what it means.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem, pray for the fatherless and widowed, the sick and bereaved, and lastly pray for yourself; and I hope this posting finds you well, that it increases you in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, and makes or made you better today in Jesus name… Amen. God bless you…
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