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Resurrection Sunday Service

“From Golgotha to Glory”

Date:March 31, 2024
Author: Wayne J. Edwards


Beloved, while their efforts may have been well-intentioned, I hope you now see the mistake our church fathers made in 325 B.C. when they merged the sacred events of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ with the secular events of what we might call a spring festival. In Leviticus 23:2-4, “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts, which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.”

The Hebrew word for “feasts” (moadim) means “appointed times.” God carefully planned and orchestrated the timing and sequence of each of these seven feasts to reveal a special story. These times were “appointed by God,” and it is not within our purview to adjust God’s Divine calendar to fit our secular schedule.

  • It was no coincidence that Jesus was crucified the day the Jews celebrated Passover; He was our Passover Lamb.
  • It was no coincidence that Jesus rose from the dead on the feast of First Fruits; for He gave us the pattern of the harvest of souls that will soon be resurrected.
  • It was no coincidence that the Holy Spirit empowered the Church on the Feast of Pentecost, for it is through His power that our witness is effective.
  • It will not be a coincidence when Jesus returns to earth as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and after celebrating the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, we will enter into the Feast of Tabernacles – our eternal rest.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most significant event in human history. Let’s not cling to secular celebrations or even religious traditions that aren’t supported by the Scriptures. Let’s be sure our beliefs, practices, and methods of worship are firmly rooted in the Bible and not in human tradition.  

This Sunday, we will set the record straight regarding the final days of our Lord’s life on this earth. In this sermon, we will walk with Jesus, step by step, from Golgotha, the place of the skull, to the Mount of Olives, from which our Lord ascended back into glory.

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Old Testament Reading: Psalm 16:1-11
New Testament Reading:  Matthew 28:1-15

Resurrection Sunday Service
“From Golgotha to Glory”
Selected Scriptures


   In Acts 1:3, Luke wrote, “Jesus presented Himself alive after suffering, by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”

  • The Greek word translated as infallible means the evidence is conclusive, without doubt or question.
  • The infallible proof of Jesus resurrection was the many appearances He made to the people. Luke said they saw Him, touched Him, talked with Him and ate with Him.
  • Even though many unbelievers recognize the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as the central events of the Christian Faith, without His bodily resurrection, Jesus’ crucifixion would not have achieved our eternal salvation.
  • The resurrection of Jesus is the infallible proof that Jesus was and is the Messiah; the Savior sent from God.

   Skeptics have had 2000 years to disprove the resurrection of Jesus, but no one has been able to do it.

  • Even secular sources agree, Jesus was crucified publicly and buried in a tomb that belonged to a rich Pharisee.
  • Three days and three nights later, according to the Jewish calendar, Jesus resurrected from the grave, and was seen by more than 500 people at one time.
  • However, an intellectual agreement with the facts is not sufficient for one’s eternal salvation. Salvation requires our personal confession of faith in Jesus as Savior and our full surrender unto Him as Lord. ( 10:9-10)

   Jesus said the only sign He would give to prove His deity was the sign of the prophet Jonah:

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Matthew 12:39-40

The miracle of Jonah was a “type”, or an illustration of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

  • Three days and three nights equal 72-hours, and it is impossible, by any method, to get 72-hours using the Friday Crucifixion – Sunday morning resurrection model.
  • Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote their gospel on Jewish time – “sunset to sunset”, or as God said in Genesis, “the evening and the morning were the first day.” John wrote his gospel much later and used Roman time.
  • Beginning at 6:00 pm Saturday, and counting backwards 72-hours, Jesus had to have been buried by 6:00 pm on Wednesday in order for the “sign” He gave the religious leaders to be true.
  • In 1st Corinthians 15:4, the Apostle Paul said Jesus “was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the scriptures.”

   The death and resurrection of Jesus was according to the schedule God established in the Seven Jewish Feasts in Leviticus 23. They were “types” or illustrations of what Jesus would do to fulfill God’s plan for our salvation.

  • Passover – remembering the night the angel of death passed over the houses where the blood was placed.
    • “Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us.” 1 Cor.  5:7
    • Jesus had to be slain, just as all the other Passover lambs, for Him to be the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
  • Feast of Unleavened Bread – remembering the night the Hebrews left Egypt, when they didn’t have time to add yeast to the dough and wait for it to rise.
    • Leaven is symbolic of sin or evil because it affects the whole lump of dough and quickly spoils.
    • Jesus’ body was in the grave three days and three nights, but because He was without sin, there was no decay. He was the “Bread of Heaven”!
  • Feast of Firstfruits – three days after Passover, the priest would wave a sheaf of barley before God, dedicating the coming harvest unto Him.
    • “Christ is risen from the dead – the firstfruits of them that slept – Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-23
  • Feast of Harvest – became Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit empowered the church for evangelism.
  • Feast of Trumpets – will be fulfilled on the day when the Church is removed from the earth through the rapture.1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
  • Feast of Atonement – will be fulfilled when Christ enters the Holy of Holies and pours His blood on the Mercy Seat, covering our sins forever.
  • Feast of Tabernacles – will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again. Revelation 7:9-17

From Golgotha to Glory

Wednesday, Nisan 13 – Noon to Sunset

  • 12:noon – 3:00 pm – Darkness covered the earth
  • Earthquake occurred – graves opened – dead resurrected to life
  • Roman Solider confessed Jesus as the Christ
  • Joseph and Nicodemus bury the body of Jesus
  • The women watch the burial and return to their homes for Passover
  • The Religious leaders have the tomb sealed and guarded

Thursday, Nisan 14 – (sunset Wednesday – sunset Thursday)

  • After comforting Mary, all the disciples forsake Jesus and hide
  • The Jews observe Passover – High Sabbath – restricted activity
  • At some point during the three days and three nights, in His spirit, Jesus descended into “Hades”, proclaimed the gospel to those who had expressed their faith in God’s promise to send a Savior, and then took them to heaven with Him on the day He ascended.  (1 Peter 3:18-20, Ephesians 4:8-0, Luke 16:19-32)

Friday, Nisan 15 – (sunset Thursday – sunset Friday)

  • The only WORK DAY between the two Sabbaths
  • Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus bought and prepared spices and ointments to finish preparing Jesus’ body, but did not go to the tomb because they would not have had time.

Saturday, Nisan 16 – (sunset Friday – sunset Saturday)

  • Regular Sabbath – restricted activity allowed
  • The disciples remain in hiding – the women rest and worship
  • Just before sunset on Saturday – 72-hours from sunset on Wednesday, JESUS RESURRECTED from the grave

Sunday, Nisan 17 – (sunset Saturday – sunset Sunday)

  • Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, and then to the other women
  • Jesus appeared to Peter, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and then to the eleven disciples in the Upper Room w/o Thomas

Forty days following His resurrection

  • Jesus appeared to the disciples, including Thomas
  • Jesus appeared to Peter and the seven other disciples at Galilee
  • Jesus appeared to the 500 followers, and then His brother, James
  • Jesus gathered His eleven Apostles (now having seen the resurrected Lord) and they watched Him ascend into the heavens
  • (Later) Jesus appeared to the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus

(See the scriptures in The Harmony of the Gospels – Blue Letter Bible)

And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Luke 24:50-53

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Acts 1:10-11