Chapter 13 Holy Week Saturday - Easter Sunday to Jesus’ Ascension
The Apostles’ Creed contains a short summary of Jesus’ life. For 33 years he lived in a “state of humiliation.” That is to say, Jesus did not always use his divine rights or powers. For example, in the creed we confess to believe in Jesus, “Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.” Yet Jesus is God, and because he is God he is eternal and almighty. How then could he be born, suffer, and even die? The answer is found in St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians （2:6-8）： Jesus “humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.” He did this to save sinful mankind. For the past dozen chapters we have been studying Jesus’ humility. In this chapter, however, we see the God-Man in his “state of exaltation” in which he makes full and complete use of his divine rights and powers. The Apostles’ Creed describes this in the words “He descended into hell. The third day he arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.”
Holy Saturday （Matt. 27:62-66, Luke 23:56） 神圣的星期六（马太福音27:62-66,路加福音23:56）
During the Sabbath （sunset Friday to sunset Saturday） the mourning women who had spent Good Friday watching Jesus die were now at home. They knew that Joseph and Nicodemus had prepared Jesus for burial, but they wanted to pay their last respects as well. However, they did not go to the tomb on the Old Testament holy day, but waited for Sunday.
While the women kept the Sabbath, the chief priests and Pharisees broke the rules of the day. They entered the house of a Gentile, Pontius Pilate, and asked for a favor. Since they were afraid that the disciples might steal Jesus’ body, they asked Pilate to put a guard at the tomb. Pilate agreed.
While this was going on, the Lord Jesus’ spirit was alive. He told the thief on the cross that that very day he would be with him in paradise. With his last breath Jesus gave his spirit into his Father’s hands.
Easter Sunday 复活主日
The Women Visit the Tomb on Easter （Matt. 28:1-7; Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1-2） At sundown on Saturday the Sabbath was over. Since it was dark the women still could not visit the tomb. So they passed another grief-filled night. Jesus, however, rose from the dead and descended into hell. He did not go there to suffer, however but to proclaim victory over the devil and those belonging to him （1 Pet. 3:18-18; Col. 2:15）。
Sunday morning, April 9, the women rose at dawn, dressed, gathered their burial spices and set out on the lonely walk to the tomb. One woman, Mary Magdalene, had set out even earlier. As she walked, sad thoughts must have crossed her mind. Jesus, who had cast seven demons out of her and had saved her, was now dead. As she came to the tomb the dim light of dawn showed that the stone which had sealed the tomb had been rolled away. “Now,” she must have thought to herself, “they have even taken his dead body.” Without stopping to look further she ran to tell Peter and John the terrible news.
Meanwhile the other women arrived at the tomb. They included Mary （mother of the disciple James the Less）， Salome （mother of Jesus’ cousins and the disciples James and John） and Joanna （who along with the others had supported Jesus ministry, Luke 8:2-3）。 Unlike Mary Magdalene, they not only came to the tomb, but even went in. There, two angels greeted them with the happiest sermon ever preached – “He has risen!” The heavenly messengers reminded the women of Christ’s prophecies about his resurrection. And it was this Gospel message which filled their hearts with the certainty that he was alive. The women no longer cared about the tomb since it was empty. So the joyful women ran to tell the disciples the Good News.
Peter and John Visit the Tomb （Luke 24:12; John 20:3-10） 彼得和约翰来到坟墓前（路加福音24:12;约翰福音20:3-10）
By the time the women had left the tomb, Mary Magdalene had told her sad news to Peter and John. Youthful John outran the older disciple to the tomb, but then he hesitated. Peter caught up and entered the tomb first.
What impressed the two disciples most was the condition of the burial cloth. If thieves had stolen his body, the burial linens would also have been missing. On the other hand if Jesus had awakened out of a coma the wrap would have been unrolled and scattered across the tomb floor. But in fact, the cloth lay folded in place. It was as if in a miraculous way, Christ had risen right out of the cloth.
Jesus Appears to the Women （Matt. 28:8-10; Mark 16:9-11; Luke 24:9-11; John 20:11-18） 耶稣向妇女们显现（马太福音28:8-10;马克福音16:9-11;路加福音24:9-11;约翰福音20:11-18）
One cannot read the Easter story up to this point without feeling some pity for Mary Magdalene. Her grief at Jesus’ death was huge. Yet her love for him moved her to awaken earlier than the rest on Easter Sunday. Her sorrow convinced her that thieves had taken his dead body. However, God had a special event awaiting her. Mary Magdalene was to be the first to see the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
By the time she walked back to the tomb, Peter and John had left. She did not recognize the angels, and at first even Jesus himself. But then the Lord called her by name. At last her heart was filled with the greatest joy. She must have decided to remain by his side forever. Jesus, however, had other plans. Mary was directed to tell the disciples the Good News about the risen Lord.
Shortly afterwards Jesus showed himself to the other women who were on their way to the disciples. They too were sent out to tell the Good News.
The Tomb Guards Ordered to Lie （Matt. 28:11-15） 坟墓的守卫被要求撒谎（马太福音28:11-15）
33 years earlier Satan had tried to kill Jesus in Bethlehem before the Lord could earn salvation for mankind. But Satan failed. Then, on various occasions the Devil tried to tempt Jesus into sinning which would have ruined God’s plan of redemption. Again he failed. Now, knowing that his evil cause was lost, Satan tried to hide the proof of the atonement – Christ’s resurrection. When the guards who had been posted at the tomb reported what had happened, the Jews bribed them with money to say that Jesus’ body had been stolen.
Since there are many today who believe in a living Jesus, it is clear that not all have accepted this lie. Once again the devil failed in his wicked purpose.
Jesus Appears to Peter （Luke 24:34） 耶稣向彼得显现（路加福音24:34）
The Easter sun was rising high over Jerusalem. Jesus had appeared to the four faithful women. Before noon he was to show himself to one man. Just as Jesus had pity on Mary Magdalene, he had pity on Peter. Three times Peter had denied Jesus. Now the disciple heard that Jesus was alive. He had looked for himself at the burial linens. He must have wondered if the risen Jesus would ever forgive him and speak to him again. Jesus helped his troubled soul by appearing to him even before the other disciples （1 Cor. 15:5）。
Jesus Appears on the Emmaus Road （Mark 16:12-I3; Luke 24:13-35） 耶稣在通往以马忤斯的路上显现（马可福音16:1-13;路加福音24:13-35）
It was Easter afternoon. Two believers were returning home from Jerusalem. As they walked their minds were troubled. A stranger approached and asked them why they were so bothered.
Instead of showing himself to their eyes, Jesus turned them to the Scriptures and convinced them of the resurrection. Even after they recognized him, it was the Gospel message which formed the basis of their faith. “They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”‘ （Luke 24:32）。 After Jesus disappeared, the men hurried back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples.
As an unknown Christian poet wrote:
Life is like the Emmaus road
We travel not alone,
Beside us walks our risen Lord
To guide and keep his own.
Jesus Appears to Ten Disciples （Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23） 耶稣向十个门徒显现（马可福音16:14;路加福音24:36-43;约翰福音20:19-23）
The greatest day in earth’s history was drawing to a close. Before the day ended, however, Jesus came to his disciples. Most of the disciples were confused by the reports they had heard. Suddenly Jesus stood in their midst. When they looked at their Savior and friend they thought he was a ghost. Jesus corrected this false idea by showing them his flesh and eating some food.
How can the disciples’ first doubts be explained? The evil Jewish leaders had remembered Jesus’ prophecy that he would rise on the third day （Matt. 27:63）。 The women believed the angels’ report that “he is risen!” The Emmaus disciples believed the Old Testament’s prophecies about the resurrection. Why, then, was it so hard for them to believe what they had heard and seen? Perhaps they were still afraid of the Jews or afraid of Jesus （after having abandoned him in Gethsemane）？ Whatever the reason, Jesus calmed their troubled hearts by twice repeating, “Peace be with you!”
The disciples had sinned against Christ, but the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus brought them peace – the forgiveness of sins. Soon they would go looking for other sinners and proclaim to them the Gospel of peace.
Jesus Appears to all Eleven Disciples （John 20:24-29） 耶稣向所有十一个门徒显现（约翰福音20:24-29）
When Jesus first appeared to the disciples, Thomas was not there. Like the others, he refused to believe in the resurrection without more proof. A week later Thomas had his stubborn soul satisfied. The Lord appeared and invited him to touch his holy hands and side. Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God.” The word “my” was important. Faith is a personal acceptance of the living Lord and God. Jesus was pleased with Thomas’ faith, but not with the demands he made before he would believe. Jesus answered, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” （John 20:29）。
Jesus Appears in Galilee （John 21: 1-23） 耶稣在加利利显现（约翰福音21:1-23）
Jesus told the women on Easter Sunday “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me” （Matt. 28:10）。 After seeing Jesus in Jerusalem the disciples left for Galilee, where some of them went back to fishing.
Jesus came to these disciples and worked a miracle by supplying a large net of fish. Peter was full of joy to see the Lord, but the Lord still had not had a chance to talk to Peter about his sin, the three times he denied Jesus. Now, the time was right. Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved him. In each case he answered that he did. Jesus gave Peter a new call to be an apostle. He now told Peter to go to the young （lambs） and old （sheep） and feed them the Gospel. The Lord also showed Peter that he would not deny him again. Rather than do that he would go to his own death. Indeed Peter was crucified for his faith about 33 years later. Meanwhile, Peter’s friend, the Apostle John, outlived the other disciples and died of old age about A.D. 98.
The Great Commission （Matt. 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18） 大使命（马太福音28:16-20;马可福音16:15-18）
Some time later Christ appeared on a mountain. A crowd of over 500, including the disciples, had gathered （I Cor. 15:6）。 The words Jesus spoke have come to be known as The Great Commission. He said, “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” （Matt. 28:19-20）。
In the space of about a month Jesus had given the believers three great tools of faith: the Gospel, the Lord’s Supper and Holy Baptism. These were the “Means of Grace,” the means by which God gives men the forgiveness earned by Jesus on the cross. Indeed, only through these three means can anyone come to faith and then remain strong until the end.
The Ascension （Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:44-53） 高升（马可福音16:19-20;路加福音24:44-53）
The day was Thursday, May 18, A.D. 30. It was 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection. In response to his command the disciples gathered on a hill near Jerusalem. St. Luke （Acts 1:6） reveals that they were still slow to understand the nature of Christ’s Kingdom. From now on it would be up to the Holy Spirit to give them the Scriptural understanding they needed. Finally, Jesus once again told the believers to share the Gospel with the whole world. Then he ascended out of their sight. After 33 years on Earth, Jesus returned home, and he took up his position at the right hand of God the Father （Matt. 28:18）。
Conclusion to the Gospels （John 20:30-31; 21:24-25） 福音书的总结（约翰福音20:30-31;21:24-25）
The story of Jesus’ life as told in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke is now complete. But John needed to add two last comments. “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” （John 20:31）。