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10. Isa al-Masih: Resurrected?

Sayyidna Isa al-Masih (his peace be upon us) was raised from the dead in the fulfilment of prophecy that He, and many other Prophets, had predicted. His followers were astounded. They had seen Him raise others from the dead but now He had victoriously defeated death Himself, for who can raise themselves from the dead? Since Sayyidna was indeed the Messiah, Al-Masih, even death could not hold Him, and the sayings came true, ‘“Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”’[1]

Sayyidna appeared to the apostles that first Sunday evening, in an upper room in Jerusalem. One of the disciples, Thomas, was not there. When he was later told that Sayyidna Isa had risen and been with them, he refused to believe it. He said, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it.”[2]

Just one week later when all the apostles, including Thomas, were present, Sayyidna Isa al-Masih appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you!” He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.”[3] There was no need for Thomas to check further. He cried out, “My Lord and my God!” Sayyidna Isa Kalimatu'llah’s response was, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”[4]

Sayyidna had promised His followers that He would be killed, but would then rise again.[5] After the resurrection He reminded them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses (Musa), the Prophets, and the Psalms (Zabur).”[6]

A few days after Sayyidna Isa al-Masih’s ascension, Peter boldly testified to a crowd about Him, saying, “God raised him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.”[7]

1) Attacks

From the Injil it is very clear that if Isa al-Masih had not been raised, our faith would be useless. We would all be lost. There would be no hope of salvation. From the day that Sayyidna Isa Kaffara'tu'llah rose until now, opponents have recognised the vital significance of this event and thus have tried to discredit it.

2) The Sign of Jonah

On one occasion during Isa bin Maryam’s ministry on earth, the Pharisees asked Him to give them a miraculous sign to prove Himself. Sayyidna replied, “… for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”.[8] Some argue that since Jonah was alive in the belly of the fish, then Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam must also have been alive in the tomb. However, the text goes on to say that “one greater than Jonah is here” (v.41), and so it is clear that the two situations are not supposed to be identical, but that Jonah’s experience is a pale reflection of the Great Resurrection.

3) The Circumstances

Before Sayyidna Isa was crucified, He was beaten terribly. Many watched Him die, including soldiers who knew death well. One soldier stuck a spear into Isa al-Masih’s side to make sure He was dead. Then His body was taken down from the cross and wrapped in grave clothes. The people who did this knew that He was dead so they put the body into a cave that had been carved into the solid rock to make a tomb. An enormous heavy stone was put in front of the tomb and was sealed by the Roman officials, and a guard of Jewish soldiers was set to watch it.

Why did the people put a guard outside his tomb? We do not usually guard dead bodies. The answer is given in the Bible; Sayyidna Isa had said that He would be killed and buried, and would come to life once again on the third day. The soldiers were told to guard the tomb because the authorities were afraid that Sayyidna Isa’s disciples would come and steal His body. You can read this for yourself in Matthew 12:38-40, 16:21, 17:22-23, 20:18-19, 26:32, 27:63.

In spite of all this, the tomb was open and empty on the third day. God had caused there to be an earthquake and the great stone had been removed whilst the soldiers had become unconscious. The grave clothes were there but Sayyidna Isa Al-Masih’s body was not. Neither the Roman nor the Jewish authorities were able to produce the body and prove that He was dead. When those who had seen Sayyidna Isa spoke up, the authorities had no answer to give.

4) The Witnesses’ Report

Later Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah was seen alive by many people. Here is the list of people that the Bible gives:

All these people knew Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam very well and could not have been fooled. Some may ask how we know that these witnesses were not lying. One reason is because their lives were so dramatically changed after Sayyidna’s ascension. The Disciples, who were so afraid and ran away when Sayyidna was arrested, suddenly became bold and courageous. The Bible tells us how Peter and John and the others preached not only to the crowds, but faced the very people who had killed Sayyidna Isa and yet refused to obey them. Many of these same disciples were later killed for the message they preached.

“If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
‘He is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:9-12)

A Plea

Dear friend. We believe that Sayyidna Isa Al-Masih really was raised from the dead. He said Himself, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!”[9] He can save people like you and me from our sins. You and I live in a society in which people no longer think about their future. Let us be aware of the fact that there is life beyond death and it is important to think about it now. The Bible declares that if we put our trust in Isa Kalimatu'llah and obey His commands, we will be raised as He was and live a joyful new life with God the Almighty, the Most Loving and the Merciful, forever in heaven.

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection” (Romans 6:4-5).

References:

  1. [1] 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, Hosea 13:14
  2. [2] John 20:25
  3. [3] John 20:27
  4. [4] John 28-29
  5. [5] Mark 9:31
  6. [6] Luke 24:44
  7. [7] Acts 2:24
  8. [8] Matthew 12:39-40
  9. [9] Revelation 1:18
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