|The empty tomb
|He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay
Christ's enemies made his tomb as secure as possible, with a huge stone, and posting a guard:
57 When the
even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn
out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over
against the sepulchre.
Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver
said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day,
lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error
shall be worse than the first.
65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure,
sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
Guards who allowed a prisoner to escape were executed in those times - so this
was a serious "watch."
BUT WHOA - "HE IS RISEN!, CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED!"
-- See Wikipedia - Paschal Greeting - for more.
1 In 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.
2 And, 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.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment
white as snow:
for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye
seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And 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.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with
fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9 And 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.
Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
Note: The "watch" were still at their posts.
11 Now when they were going, behold,
some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel,
they gave large money unto the soldiers,
Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying
is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given
unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore,
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
These last three verses are known as the Great Commission.
Saint Paul, that is, the Apostle Paul was as sworn, vehement, and dedicated an enemy of Christianity
He presents his defense to Festus and Agrippa, government officials, at Cesarea on
the coast of Israel.
See JFB Commentary for more details.
1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself.
Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching
all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews:
wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know
all the Jews;
knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the
promise made of God, unto our fathers:
Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king
Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many
things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received
authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and
compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and
commission from the chief priests,
At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and
them which journeyed with me.
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul,
why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared
unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those
things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness
to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which
are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and
throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet
|Christian baptism, Jordan River, Israel
|Baptism, symbolic entry into Christianity for those who have embraced the Lord Jesus Christ by faith
21 For these causes the Jews caught me
in the temple, and went about to kill me.
therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than
those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto
the people, and to the Gentiles.
24 And as
he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the
words of truth and soberness.
26 For the king
knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him;
for this thing was not done in a corner.
Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all
that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice,
and they that sat with them:
31 And when they
were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at
liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.
In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul writes:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also
ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed
3 For I delivered unto you first of
all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the
5 And that he was seen of Cephas,
then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen
of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due
9 For I am the least of the apostles,
that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;
but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
|Rev 3:20 - Behold, I stand at the door and knock:
|if any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him and will sup with him, he with me