The one we're going to celebrate in a few days. The time when Jesus was in the
Now, I need to acknowledge that I cannot fathom how it would have been for followers of Jesus, at the time, as they did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit. So they were people who'd chosen to follow Him, and IMO in their natural state. But in any event, I cannot identify how it'd be without His indwelling presence in us.
But pause for a minute, and think. Jesus had made some pretty fantastic claims about dying and coming back, and all the other things He'd said about His relationship with His Father, and in fact, Who He was.
But now, He was dead. And dead means dead. Unable to function, to move, to do anything .. much less raise Himself. Not "idling" over in the corner, waiting for Sunday morning to roll around.
Now .. one of two things happens. He rises from the dead, or He doesn't. Pure "go-no go" moment. If He doesn't rise and live again, then He's proven a liar. Thus, everything else He said would be suspect. BUT ...if He DOES come out of the tomb, alive, then two things are immediately obvious:
- He didn't do it Himself, as He was dead. Like the turtle perched on the fencepost, you know He didn't do it Himself. The only other Person with power to do that would be, of course, God.
- God would have, Personally, validated what Jesus had said and done on earth. Including all the OT prophecies about Him, and everything He said and did while He was here.
It's obvious His followers weren't sitting around marking off the hours until Sunday morning, else they'd all have shown up at the tomb. I'm guessing that's attributable to the lack of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
I'm the sort of guy (the natural me, that is) that wants proof. And in Spiritual matters, I don't want external proof .. that is .. I want proof from the Bible. So, given the nature of the Bible as all truth, does it testify that He really was raised, and that it was obvious that He was?
YES! From Matthew 28, NIV:
"11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day."
Two things strike me about that. First, telling the boss you were sleeping while on duty would hardly have "kept them safe". I hear that was punished rather severely. But more importantly, you don't have to bribe people to tell the truth! You bribe them to lie!
My conclusion: the guards knew He'd risen, the chief priests knew it, and their bribery of the guards puts Satan in the unenviable position as testifying to the truth of God's word, and Jesus' resurrection.
So that was, indeed, The Weekend That Was.