Last week, we considered the question of Christ on the cross, “Why have you forsaken me?” In the context of that question, I would like to consider the allegations of the crowd milling around the foot of the cross- those allegations being that Christ’s greatest accomplishment would be to descend from the cross. The premise of their statement was false to begin with.
From man’s perspective, saving oneself from death is certainly a profound proposition, particularly when that individual is already close to death and in a helpless state. Yet Christ had a far greater purpose to accomplish: to truly die by the shedding of his blood and voluntary relinquishment of his spirit; to prove that he was in fact fully, completely dead; and finally to overcome every impediment constructed by wicked men and Satan himself, and rise from the dead.
So as we consider the four crucifixion and resurrection narratives in the gospels, we see four elements of proof for the resurrection, which we will analyze chronologically. This is a “harmony of the gospels,” where we synchronize the events of all four gospel accounts. We see that the gospel authors had a specific purpose in mind in recounting the events of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. They were presenting objective evidence to validate the claim that Christ had resurrected from the dead.
Let’s examine the four assertions that the gospel authors make.