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Sermons > 3rd Sunday of Easter

Witnesses to the Resurrection
18 Apr 2021

                                                                  Witnesses to the Resurrection

“And He said to them “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”  - Luke

To you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus:

    For the forty days that our Lord was seen following His Resurrection, we read that there were many witnesses to His divine presence; From Mary Magdalene and the women, to His Apostles that evening; from the two disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus, to the five hundred that Paul makes reference to in His First Letter to the Corinthians 15:6. Jesus was to have all those who He appeared to, to be His witnesses and give testimony to His Resurrection.

     Prior to His Ascension, we read in the Acts of the Apostles 1:8,these word of Jesus: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

    Witnesses. We find in the Merriam-Webster dictionary some of the definitions of the word, “witness:”

1: Attestation of a fact or an event: Testimony.

2: One who gives evidence to an event.

3: One asked to testify to an event having taken place.

4: One who has personal knowledge of something.

5: Something serving as evidence or proof: Sign

     As members of the PNCC, we rely on the “Word of God” as a Sacrament and serves as the foundation of our faith.We also read in Holy Scripture, that there were those who were witnesses and state that their testimony was true.

This is the disciple [John] who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”  - John 21:24-25

“Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I [Luke] too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.    – Acts 1:1-4

So what was witnessed?

  1. The Life, the teachings and healings of Jesus.

     As John commented at the end of His Gospel, there are many other things that Jesus did. His various teachings and healings are contained throughout the four Gospel accounts. One passage is found in the Gospel of Saint Matthew: “And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them,"                 - Matthew 15:30

  1. The Passion and Crucifixion of Christ Jesus.

     We read in all four Gospels, the accounts of our Lord who suffered death by crucifixion. These events were to be viewed by those who followed our Lord to the place of His crucifixion. The severity of His Passion, with the events leading up to His being nailed to the cross was witnessed by St. John and the women who were present.

Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him.  Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”

     They saw and probably witnessed His final words and most importantly, the piercing of His body, the “death blow” by a soldier, whose lance ruptured, His pericardium, a fluid sac, surrounding the heart, which caused the outpouring of water and blood as described in John 19:34.

  1. The burial of Jesus

    We read in all four Gospel accounts, that following the death of Jesus, He was place in a unsured a “virgin” tomb, owned by Joseph of Arimathea. Scripture tells us of this event and is found in Matthew. 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42

    From the events that took place 2000 years ago, there are millions of people around the world who have experienced the presence of the “living” Christ in their lives and are His witnesses to His divine presence.

    Easter is so special and unique in so many ways. I share with you the following: All patriarchs, prophets, and spiritual sages have lived and have died.

Krishna [Hinduism] died according to tradition in the 2nd Century BC in his late 40’s.

Buddha [Buddhism} died circa 485-400 BC at age 80.

Moses[Judaism] died circa 1271 BC at age 120.

Mohammed[Islam] died on June 8, 632 AD at age 60.

Jesus [Christianity] died on the 14 of the Jewish month of Nissan, and for us (April 14th) circa 30 AD at age 33, and resurrected from the dead, three days later, as foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament and lives to this day in the lives and hearts of His believers.      


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