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Discovering the Son of God

What Jesus’ Friends Discovered

Jesus was buried shortly after He died. One of the ruling Jews had secretly believed in Him. This man, Joseph of Arimathea, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Then, he took Jesus’ body to a tomb that he owned. He was saving it for his own burial place. Joseph’s tomb was carved from rock. It was like a cave with a huge stone to cover the door.

Jesus died late in the afternoon. The next day was a holy day. The holy day would begin at sunset. It was important to finish all work before sunset. Joseph quickly put Jesus’ body in the tomb and moved the stone to close the doorway. Then he left.

Pilate sent soldiers to guard the tomb. Jesus had promised to come back to life in three days. Nobody really expected Him to come back to life. His enemies thought His followers might steal His body, though. Pilate put soldiers by the grave to make sure Jesus’ body would still be there three days later.

The holy day ended Saturday evening. Jesus had been dead for three days on Sunday morning. Three women who had believed in Jesus came to the grave. They carried spices to put on His body. Spices were the normal way to care for a dead body. It would not be a pleasant job, but they loved Jesus. They wanted to give His body proper care.

Angels came down from Heaven before the women arrived at the grave. The angels looked like men in white clothing. They rolled the huge stone from the door of the tomb. The soldiers were so afraid they fainted. The grave was empty! Jesus had come back to life!

The three women came to the tomb. They found the angels sitting there. The angels said, "Why are you looking for a living person in the place of the dead? Jesus isn’t here. He has risen from the dead. He said He would do this. Go tell his disciples."

The women were too afraid to say anything at first. They finally told the twelve disciples what they had seen. The men did not believe them, but Peter and John ran to the tomb anyway.

Peter and John entered the tomb. They saw the clothes Jesus had been buried in. The clothes were empty. A cloth had covered Jesus’ face. It was folded and lay by itself. The body was gone. John saw these things. He believed what the women said. Jesus was alive again!

One of the women stayed near the empty grave. Her name was Mary. (She wasn’t the same Mary as Jesus’ mother.) She was crying. She didn’t believe Jesus was alive. She thought someone had taken His body.

A man came to her. He said, "Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?"

She thought he was a groundskeeper. She said, "Sir, if you took His body, give it to me. I will take care of it."

The man said, "Mary."

Mary recognized His voice. It was Jesus!

Later that day, Jesus’ followers were together. They were hiding in a locked room. They were afraid of Jesus’ enemies. Suddenly, Jesus was there. The locked door couldn’t stop Him. They were afraid. They thought He was a spirit.

Jesus said, "Peace to you." He showed them His hands and feet. He let them touch Him. He wanted them to know He wasn’t a spirit. He had really and truly come back to life.

One of Jesus’ twelve disciples wasn’t there that night. His name was Thomas. The others told him what they had seen. Thomas did not believe. "I won’t believe until I’ve seen the holes from the nails in his hands. I won’t believe until I’ve put my fingers in those holes. I won’t believe until I’ve put my hand in the hole the spear made in His side," he said.

Eight days later Jesus came to see His friends again. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus held out his hands. He said, "Thomas, put your fingers in the nail holes. Put your hand into the hole in my side. From now on don’t be without faith. Believe in me."

Thomas believed now. He said, "My Lord and my God."

Jesus said, "You have believed because you have seen. God will bless those who believe without seeing."

Jesus expected people to believe that He rose from the dead. He still expects us to believe that He rose from the dead. He is the Son of God. He has proved He is the Son of God. We should expect Him to do great things. We should even expect Him to live forever.

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