A Resurrection Revelation

Globally in celebrating the resurrection the Christian community celebrates and event equivalent to the sun rising in the west. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only holiday celebrated 52 times a year. Such was the intent of Sunday becoming special to millions.

The resurrection above all else is what encourages Jesus’ followers. It validates the reason for hope amid life’s challenges. Certain aspects of the resurrection not obvious to a casual reader of the New Testament account reveal an incredible aspect of the event.

Various New Testament writers give slightly different insights to events. That is proof there was no collusion. The variances do not conflict, they actually compliment each other.

The moving of the stone from the entrance of the tomb by different authors reveals the scope of the action.
In ordering his scholars to compile the most exact language possible Alexander the Great had no idea how he was enabling clarity and understanding.

Joseph of Arimathea and accomplices “rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher.” Matthew used the Greek word kulio which means “to roll.”

Mark uses the same root word to indicate where the stone was once it was removed. He added the prefix ana which means “to role up hill or an incline.” Such an incline at the entrance of tombs was common. It enabled the stones to be rolled into place to seal the tomb.

Luke used the same root with a different prefix, apo, meaning to move a great distance. When the women came to the tomb they were musing over who would move the stone. They found it had been apokulio, moved away some distance.
John used a different prefix, airo, which meant “to pick something up and carry it away.”

Combined the account is more complete. The combined meaning is the stone had been picked up by the angel and moved a great distance away up hill.

For devotees that means that when God does a thing He does it in a big way. The stone had not just been tilted aside, it was moved a great distance up hill.

The purpose was not to let the resurrected Jesus out, but to let others in to see what had happened.

John is the most detailed of the gospel writers. He noted the cloth used to cover the face of Jesus’ corpse was neatly folded and in place. This is a signature observation, in that era when a monarch left the table if he left his napkin crumpled on the table it meant he was not coming back. If he left it folded, it meant he would return. This simple sign speaks of the return of Jesus.

These insights are offered as an encouragement to believers and an explanation to those who do not share their faith as to why the faithful have such joy and hope. They rejoice that when the courts of man condemned Jesus to death the appellate court of heaven reversed the decision. C. S. Lewis, well known British scholar, and man of letters wrote: “Jesus has forced open a door that had been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because he has done so.”

The story of the resurrection ends not with a funeral, but a festival. Not with a casket, but with a celebration.