By Stefan J. Bos Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife with reporting from Jerusalem and Rome
JERUSALEM/ROME (BosNewsLife Columns)-- The man claiming to be the Messiah miraculously appeared before his friends and followers Sunday, April 1, after He died at a cross on Golgotha hill near Jerusalem's walls.
Christ Jesus had been tortured and crucified to death Friday, March 30, by Roman forces, after Jewish crowds rallied against Him for calling God his Father. He also made clear he is the Heavenly King who will sit "at the right hand" of his Heavenly Father, giving eternal life to everyone who believes in Him.
Medics could not explain how he managed to cheat death. Such long-term resuscitation is currently impossible for people whose cardiac arrest is accompanied by injury from trauma, with crucifixion being the most painful death on record.
However, “all authority in heaven and on earth: has been given to me," Christ told a small group of surprised followers, also known as disciples, at a gathering on a mountain in Galilee region. BosNewsLife obtained transcripts. of the meeting
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you," Christ added during the gathering.
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” Christ pledged. There was no immediate news conference planned with media.
The gathering came after a close friend, Mary Magdalene, said in a statement that she initially had been crying after not finding Christ's human remains in the Jerusalem tomb where followers hastily buried Him in time for the Jewish Sabbath.
She eventually turned around and "saw Jesus" standing nearby, the woman claimed. "He said, 'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?'", Magdalene recalled, adding that she initially thought it was a gardener.
"I said 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him'. But when He said 'Mary' I turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!'," which means 'Teacher', she said.
However, she said He told her: “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
One of Christ's well-known 'disciples' Simon Peter acknowledged that he was initially shocked when Magdalene said: “I have seen the Lord!”, an announcement that turned her into the first known evangelist.
Soon after, Peter said, he also "saw Jesus" and realized that "God raised him up the third day, and shewed him openly."
He added that Christ appeared "unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead."
Peter and other witnesses said Christ confirmed to be the "Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead" through the
In published remarks, Christ's followers, also known as Christians, made clear they planned to become evangelists among both Jews and non-Jews. "Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name," they said.
Roman Empire officials had no immediate comment, but followers of Christ said they expected persecution.
Soldiers guarding the tomb appeared concerned. They played down claims that Christ conquered death and sin in His resurrection on the third day, saying "His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep."
The military did not address several reports that soldiers had been paid to make the statement by chief priests opposing His activities and were worried about repercussions from the Roman governor.
Jesus had been predicting His death, at the age of 33, and resurrection. He viewed it as a mission to die for the sins of the world as He made clear that the wages of sin are death. His resurrection symbolizes that sins have been forgiven and that the gift of God is eternal life for every person turns to "Christ Jesus our Lord," followers said.
Friends quoted Christ as saying: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
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BosNewsLife Columns is a regular opiniated service of BosNewsLife)