The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most significant events in Christian history. It is the cornerstone of the faith and holds great meaning for millions of believers around the world.
But who witnessed this miraculous event? Let’s take a look at the witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection.
The Women at the Tomb
The first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection were a group of women who had come to Jesus’ tomb early on Sunday morning. According to the Gospel accounts, these women included Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James), Joanna, and Salome.
When they arrived at the tomb, they found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance and that Jesus’ body was not there. Instead, they saw two angels who told them that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Key takeaway: The first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection were a group of women who visited his tomb early on Sunday morning.
After encountering the angels at the tomb, Mary Magdalene went to tell Peter and John what she had seen. The two disciples ran to the tomb and found it empty, just as Mary had said.
Later that same day, while some of Jesus’ followers were gathered together in a room, he appeared to them. This group included Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael (also known as Bartholomew), James (the son of Alphaeus), John (the brother of James), and two other unnamed disciples.
Key takeaway: The disciples also witnessed Jesus’ resurrection when he appeared to them in a room where they were gathered together.
The Road to Emmaus
On the same day as his resurrection, two of Jesus’ followers were walking along a road from Jerusalem to Emmaus when they encountered him. Though they did not recognize him at first, Jesus explained to them the prophecies in the scriptures that had foretold his death and resurrection.
When they arrived at their destination and sat down to eat, Jesus broke bread with them. It was then that they suddenly recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.
Key takeaway: Two of Jesus’ followers encountered him on the road to Emmaus and later recognized him when he broke bread with them.
In the days following his resurrection, Jesus also appeared to his apostles. This group included Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (the son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (also known as Judas the son of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
During one of these appearances, Jesus famously showed Thomas his wounds so that he would believe that he had truly risen from the dead.
Key takeaway: Jesus appeared to his apostles after his resurrection and showed Thomas his wounds as proof that he had truly risen from the dead.
The witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection were many and varied. They included a group of women who visited his tomb early on Sunday morning and found it empty; the disciples who encountered Jesus in a room where they were gathered together; two of Jesus’ followers who encountered him on the road to Emmaus; and finally his apostles who saw him in person after his resurrection. These witnesses played a crucial role in establishing the truth of what happened on that fateful day over 2000 years ago.