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Easter Headlines!

Matthew 27:35

Had you been able to buy a morning edition of a Jerusalem newspaper on Monday following
the Jewish Passover in 30 A.D., its headlines probably would have read:
"Jesus of Nazareth Reported Risen from the Dead."

The article would have read something like this:
"For the past 24 hours Jerusalem has been buzzing with rumors to the effect that Jesus of Nazareth
has been raised from the dead.

On orders from Governor Pontius Pilate, Jesus was crucified last Friday.
Late that afternoon He was buried in a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin.

At the request of the high priest, Caiaphas, the tomb was sealed with the official Roman seal,
and a Roman guard was placed before it.

Rumors that Jesus had said that three days after His death
He would come out of His grave are said to have brought about the request of Caiaphas.

However, despite the fact that the tomb was heavily guarded,
some women came to the tomb yesterday morning and reportedly found the tomb empty.
In their excitement they are said to have reported seeing angels who told them that Jesus had risen from the dead.
The soldiers guarding the tomb verified their story.

Several of the followers of Jesus have reported seeing Him alive yesterday.
According to the inner circle of His disciples, called the "twelve",
Jesus entered a room through a closed and locked door, and even ate with them

On the first Easter morning, life won!
Death died!

The best news this world has ever heard came from a graveyard just outside Jerusalem.
Out of that cold tomb came the vindicated victor -- the living Lord, Jesus Christ.
He arose!

That day death died!
Demons wept and angels rejoiced.
Prophecies were fulfilled.
Thank God, He lives!

Join the celestial celebration:
"All hail the power of Jesus' name
Let angels prostrate fall..."

A new day has dawned to give hope to the world.
Despair is dispelled.
Life's path -- all the way to Heaven -- is illuminated.
They that have sat in darkness have seen a new light.
He, who was undisputedly dead, is undeniably alive.
This is the most important event in human history.

In a library in Constantinople is an ancient document.
Here is a portion of the record reputed to be Pilate's report to Caesar.

"To Tiberius Caesar, Emperor of Rome. Noble, Sovereign, Greeting..."
(For our purposes I have moved to the portion, which begins with Joseph of Arimathea coming to ask for the body of Christ.)

"I am Joseph of Arimathea, "replied he, "and am come to beg of you upon my knees
the permission to bury Jesus of Nazareth

"Your prayer is granted," said I to him.
And at the same time I ordered Manilus to take some soldiers with him to superintend the internment, lest it should be profaned.

A few days after the sepulchre was found empty.
His disciples proclaimed all over the country that Jesus had risen from the dead as He had foretold.
This created more excitement than the crucifixion.

The letter attributed to Pilate continues to tell of dispatching Malkus, the captain of the royal guard to post a guard at the tomb.
He assigned his lieutenant, Ben Isham, with 100 soldiers to the detail.
Further in the report, Pilate gave a rather detailed description
of the resurrection scene, as reported by Isham.

The document is signed: "I am your most obedient servant, Pontius Pilate."

Also, in that same library at Constantinople is a letter attributed to Caiaphas, the high priest:
(Sanhedrin 89, by Siphri II.7)

"To You Masters of Israel:
"I feel duty bound to communicate to you some facts that have come to my knowledge...

A few days after the execution of Jesus of Nazareth, the report of his resurrection from the dead became so common
that I found it necessary to investigate it.
... From what I could learn from the soldiers the scene was awe-inspiring, and the report was so generally believed
that it was useless to deny it...
... The captain of the guards (Malkus) said that all the soldiers he had conversed with were convinced
that Jesus was resurrected by supernatural power and was still living, and that he was no human being,
for the light and the angels and the dead that came out of their graves all went to prove that something had happened
that never occurred on earth before.

From this I am convinced that something transcending the laws of nature took place that morning
that cannot be accounted for upon natural laws, and I find it useless to get any of the soldiers to deny it,
for they are so excited that they cannot be reasoned with

(The Archko Vol. McIntosh And Twyman, New Canaan, Conn.
Keats Publishing Company, 1975, pp.143-147)

There is no historical event better supported than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.