Did Christ remain in the tomb after his crucifixion?


No. He rose from the tomb on the third day after his death.

If you didn’t know anything about Jesus and the Bible, this question seems like a bit of a goofy one to ask. When people die, they stay dead! They don’t come back to life and walk out of their graves. If your pet turtle died and I said, “Did your turtle remain in the ground after you buried him?” you might look at me like I’ve lost my mind!

But there’s a reason why we would ask this question of Jesus. After he died on a Friday, two men took his body down from the cross and placed it in a tomb, which was sort of like a little cave of stone. Then they rolled a large rock in front of it to keep animals from bothering Jesus’ dead body. But on Sunday morning, something confusing happened: “Very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:1-3)

Jesus’ tomb was empty! There was supposed to be a dead body there, but the Bible tells us that the only thing his disciples found inside were the clothes Jesus was buried in. So what happened? Did robbers steal his body? Did a bear sneak inside and gobble up Jesus for a snack?

The disciples didn’t have an answer to these confusing questions until that Sunday evening. The fearful and frightened men were gathered together inside a locked room. Luke 24:36-39 describes what happened: “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’”

After a whole day of wondering, the disciples finally knew why Jesus’ tomb was empty. It wasn’t greedy robbers or a hungry bear – it was a miracle! Jesus had risen from the dead, not as some spooky ghost floating around and going, “Boo!” No, he rose in a flesh-and-bone body they could see and touch. In fact, Jesus even let them poke their fingers through the nail holes in his hands!

But the disciples shouldn’t have been as surprised as they were. A while before he died, Jesus told his disciples that all of this was going to happen. Matthew 16:21 says, “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Jesus predicted his own death and resurrection – and it happened exactly as he promised it would! Still, such a thing sounds so incredible, you and I probably would have had a problem taking those words seriously, too!

Jesus’ resurrection is an important part of the good news. It was proof that he was who he said he was! Anyone can say that they are going to die and rise again. But only Jesus can actually do it! And if he kept his promise to rise from the dead, then we can be certain that all he has said is true, including the part where we can be forgiven of our sins and enjoy forever life in his kingdom!


+ Read 1 Corinthians 15:17. Would the good news of Jesus still be good news if he hadn’t risen from the dead? Why or why not?

+ How should Jesus’ resurrection change the way we think about death?


Luke 24:45-47; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4

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