The Power of Resurrection

Printed in EL Karaza Magazine, April 29, 2005‎

The rising of Jesus Christ from the dead was the biggest event that shook Jews and ‎they tried to fight it in all ways to the extent that they said about resurrection that ‎this last deception will be stronger than the first deception which is Christ’s ‎Preaching. So what was the power of resurrection and what was its impact?‎

‎1- Christ came out of the tomb while it was closed…‎
This was not strange for Him or for the miraculous power He has. He had also come out ‎of the saint Virgin Mary’s womb with her virginity sealed. Also in His appearances to ‎His disciples after resurrection He came into the place where they were assembled while ‎‎“the doors were shut” (Jn 20:19).‎

‎2- And of His resurrection power, Christ rose from the dead by Himself without ‎anybody
raising Him… All those who were raised before, were raised by others: The son of the ‎Widow of Zarephath of Sidon was revived by Elijah. Also the son of the Shunammite ‎Woman was raised by Elisha. And the daughter of Jairus, the son of the Widow of Nain, ‎and Lazarus were raised by Christ. But Christ Himself rose by Himself because He had ‎the power of resurrection in Him and it was not possible for death to capture Him because ‎He had the life in Him (Jn 1:4).‎

‎3- And Christ rose regardless of the tight guarding, the tomb securing, the stone ‎sealing and the large stone which was against the door of the tomb… The worldly power ‎made all its efforts but He was stronger than all this. And His resurrection indicated that ‎He was stronger than all obstacles. His resurrection was a triumph over all His opposers ‎and those fighting against Him, over death, Hades, the large stone, the seals and the ‎sticking strips of linen…‎

Therefore when St. Paul the apostle knew Him, he said: “that I may know Him and ‎the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). He knew the power of His resurrection ‎because He saw Him after this resurrection when a Great Light appeared to him on his ‎way to Damascus (Acts 9). Therefore, this apostle trusted in Christ’s resurrection power ‎which made him go into the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death. ‎And this same power in resurrection was experienced by St. John the beloved from Christ ‎when He appeared to Him “and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength” ‎‎(Rev. 1:16).‎

His power while He was inside the tomb was stronger than every power standing ‎outside His tomb. He left the tomb on a time that nobody knew, on Sunday at dawn, and ‎the large stone remained in its place until an angel came and rolled back the stone to ‎announce the resurrection which had already happened. And thus, the women were able ‎to see the empty tomb.‎

‎4- Scenes of His power after resurrection: These are some of the sides of His power ‎seen by people on Earth, besides His many appearances and the power of ascending to ‎Heaven and sitting at the right hand of the Fr., the power of entering the place where ‎the disciples were assembled while the doors where shut and His power that converted ‎the disciples from weak frightened people to heroes preaching with all their strength and ‎without objection…‎

And as was His resurrection powerful, there was another power that preceded His ‎resurrection…‎

‎5- His power between death and resurrection: This was His power after His death ‎with which He was able to open the doors of Hell, and got out the spirits after He ‎preached the salvation to them (1 Pet. 3:19). With this power He was able to descend to ‎the lower parts of the Earth, to lead captivity captive, to give people gifts of redemption ‎then to ascend also after resurrection far above all the heavens, that He might fill all ‎things (Eph. 4:8-10).‎

‎6- The Lord Christ indicated with His resurrection that He was more powerful than ‎death and that His death was not a weakness of Him neither was His silence during ‎His trial a weakness of Him… If He would have talked He would have refuted the ‎listeners and convinced them. But this was not His aim, His aim was to redeem us. ‎Therefore, when they asked Him to descend from the cross He did not although He was ‎capable of doing it… But His aim was to die for us, to go through passions on our behalf, ‎and to pay the price of sin as propitiation and redemption for us…‎

Resurrection indicated that the silence of Christ was not a weakness… ‎
The power of resurrection was the strongest response to those who accused Christ of ‎being weak and those who thought that the crucifix of Christ was an evidence of His ‎disability!! Through resurrection, it was proved that the silence of Christ had its ‎noble aims. He was silent because He wanted to sacrifice Himself for us… Had He ‎talked, He would have refuted the listeners and convinced them. And if He defended ‎Himself, He would have won the case undoubtedly. For how many times had He ‎responded to the chief priests, Jews elders and their priests and they did not find an ‎answer to respond back… But they saw the power of His word while He was a 12-year ‎old youngster. And the people who heard Him confessed that He was talking with ‎authority.‎

The silence of Christ in His trial is an evidence that He died willingly.‎

And He said about Himself that He lay down of Himself, and no one takes it from Him. ‎He has power to lay it down, and He has power to take it again and He lay it down on the ‎crucifix time and took it on the resurrection time. Christ yielded up His spirit out of ‎love and sacrifice and not out of weakness and helplessness. And as He rose in ‎power. We should not forget that He died in power…‎

He cried out with a loud voice when He yielded up His spirit while His body was ‎extremely worn out, dried out of its blood and water and exhausted from the whipping, ‎walking, beating, bleeding and hanging on the cross…And He died in body… But in ‎His Godhead He was alive and never dying. ‎

In His death, He preached salvation to those who rested in hope, He managed to open the ‎closed Paradise and enter the robber along with Adam and his sons, the Old Testament ‎saints.‎

He also managed to rise and His resurrection makes fun of the guards and the seals ‎and large stone placed against the tomb door. It did not happen that anyone, other ‎than Christ, defeated death with his own authority alone, rose by His will and came out of ‎a sealed tomb with a large stone on the door and guarded by armed guards.‎

‎7- Christ’s power of resurrection was devastating to Jews chief priests and to all ‎Sadducees. It was an evidence of their crime in putting Him to trial and delivering Him ‎to be crucified. Also it was an evidence of the lying of all their former allegation. And by ‎resurrection they become convicted before the people. Therefore, when the disciples ‎started preaching the resurrection in every occasion, the chief priests said to them: “Did ‎we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled ‎Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” (Acts 5:28).‎

The power of His resurrection also used to frighten the chiefs of Jews because it was ‎an evidence of His righteousness because if He was convicted, He would have never ‎been able to rise. And as was resurrection an evidence of His righteousness, it was at the ‎same time an evidence of the injustice of these chiefs and that they framed Him; those ‎who rejoiced when they thought that they got rid of Him and killed Him.‎

The talking about His appearances after they killed Him frightened them… And the ‎apostles, the saints, never stopped rebuking them on this point specifically. And so saint ‎Peter the apostle told them after the miracle of healing the lame man: “the God of our ‎fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of ‎Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, ‎and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God ‎raised from the dead, of which we are‎
witnesses…” (Acts 3:13-15).‎

‎8- As for the Sadducees, they do not believe in resurrection. Thus, Christ’s ‎resurrection was a dangerous practical proof on the path their doctrines and ‎teachings were heading. Therefore, they fought resurrection with all their power and ‎fought against the disciples in preaching resurrection. And so the bible says: “Then the ‎high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), ‎and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them ‎in the common prison…” (Acts 5:17, 18). But the power of resurrection was stronger than ‎all of them and their fighting.‎

Truly, His resurrection from the dead was stronger than His descending form the ‎cross. Also His resurrection was an evidence that He died willingly and not forcibly.‎

Especially that He rose by Himself without anyone raising Him. And came out of the ‎tomb while it was sealed as He came out of Virgin Mary’s womb with her virginity ‎sealed… Truly, as He said about Himself that He has power to lay it down, and He has ‎power to take it again (John 10:18).‎

‎9- His resurrection was an evidence that He is stronger than death and consequently ‎He is also stronger than all the human power which kills and puts to death.‎
He was more powerful than the injustice of the evil ones, and all their conspiracies and ‎authority. They did all they could until they condemned Him, nailed Him on the cross ‎and challenged Him mockingly and thought that they won especially that Christ remained ‎all the time of His trial with their challenges silent… “as a lamb to the slaughter, And as ‎a sheep before its shearers is silent.” (Is. 53:7).‎

His resurrection indicated that His death was a sacrifice and not by coercion. And to ‎believe in His resurrection means that we believe in His love, sacrifice and redemption to ‎humanity. And this entails believing in His power and in all what He said before about ‎Himself and His relation to the Fr..‎

This is the power of Him who died in body, and His Godhead was alive and never ‎dying. It is the power of Him who said to St. John in the Revelation “I am the First and ‎the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. ‎And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev. 1:17, 18). This is the power of Him ‎who rose “having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be ‎held by it.” (Acts 2:24).‎

‎10- And the power of the resurrection of Christ which makes it special than every other ‎raising is that it is a resurrection with no death after it, a continuous eternal ‎resurrection… All those who were raised from the dead, died again and still until now ‎under the authority of death waiting for the common resurrection, but as for Christ, He ‎rose alive to forever and ever, and death has no authority over Him. And thus the Bible ‎called Him “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20)…‎

‎11- And of the power of the resurrection of Christ is that it is a glorified ‎resurrection…‎
He rose with a glorified body that: does not get tired, does not get sick, does not decay, ‎and does not get thirsty or hungry… A body that was able to come out of the sealed tomb ‎and come in with the doors shut and can ascend to Heaven. And we are waiting in the ‎common resurrection to be raised in a body like this too. And as the apostle said: “we ‎also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly ‎body that it may be conformed to His glorious body…” (Phil. 3:20, 21).‎