by Leanne Guenther and Sharla Guenther
After Jesus died a man named Joseph (from a place called Arimathea) put Jesus in his tomb that nobody had ever used. The tombs they used then were cut out of rock, almost like a cave, they weren't buried deep in the ground like they are now. Before Joseph left, he and some men rolled a large heavy stone in front of the tomb.
Mary and Mary Magdalene had waited a day to see Jesus, because they couldn't go on the Sabbath (it was a day of rest). They made spices and oils as a sign of respect to Jesus, and went very early Sunday morning to go see Jesus' body.
As they were just about at the tomb the earth suddenly shook and an angel came down from heaven. He easily rolled away the stone at the entrance of the tomb and sat on top of it.
The women looked at each other and rubbed their eyes, they couldn't believe what they had seen, plus it was very early in the morning, and they were still a little sleepy. The angel was so bright, almost as bright as lightning. His clothes were as white as snow.
There had been guards watching the tomb so no one would steal Jesus' body. When they saw the angel they fell over and they couldn't move or speak because they were so afraid.
Then the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus who has died. But He isn't here; He has risen just as He said He would! Come and see for yourself, the tomb is empty."
The women were confused. How could this happen? They were sure Jesus had died, and now He was alive? They looked in the tomb and the cloths Jesus was wrapped in were laying on the ground, and the tomb was empty. Then the angel spoke again, "If you want to find Jesus He's on his way to Galilee."
So the women hurried away, they were laughing and crying at the same time. They didn't know what to feel, they had been so sad that Jesus was dead and now they were so excited He was alive! They just knew they had to find Jesus, and they had to tell the disciples the good news.
As they were running down the path they turned a corner, and there was Jesus. "Greetings," He said. The ladies fell at His feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my disciples to come to Galilee, that is where they will see me."
The disciples came to Galilee, and had heard by this time that Jesus was alive. They were sitting around talking about it, when Jesus walked into the room and said to them, "Peace be with you." The disciples immediately stopped talking. Even though they had heard He was alive, they were shocked to see Him standing there with them.
Jesus said to them, "Why do you look at me like you've just seen a ghost? Why don't you believe what you're seeing? Look at the scars in my hands and feet. It is really me! Touch me and see, I am not a ghost but a real person."
The disciples mouths were open in amazement because they still didn't know what to think. They were so full of joy, and yet it was so impossible. Jesus understood what they were thinking, so He said, "This is what I told you would happen, that everything must happen that has already been written in the Bible."
Jesus had told the disciples when they had the Last Supper together. They took the bread at communion and Jesus said, 'this is my body which I have given to you...' but the disciples hadn't understood what it really meant.
Then Jesus told them, "You have seen these things that have happened, so stay in the city and soon I am going to give you what God has promised you, the Holy Spirit.
When we become Christians Jesus automatically gives us the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. The Holy Spirit makes us know when we have done something wrong. We might feel sick to our stomach, or just get a bad feeling, that is the Holy Spirit reminding us that we are doing something wrong, or that we need to stop and say sorry and ask for forgiveness for what we've done.
The story is almost done, but Jesus had one more person to see. His name was Thomas, and he was one of the disciples that wasn't there when Jesus met with them. Thomas had also heard that Jesus was alive, but would not believe until he saw Jesus with his own eyes.
A week later when Thomas finally saw Jesus, Jesus said to him, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Stop doubting and believe." But Jesus continued, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; but it is more amazing for those who don't see me, and believe anyway."
It's really neat, but Jesus is actually talking to us when He said this. If you believe in Him, without seeing Him He thinks you're very special! That is exactly what faith is, believing in God even though you can't see Him.
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