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January 7, 2022 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: This series on Apologetics is based on the book Catholicism & Reason. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. You can send them either to the postal mailing address or to the email address below, and we will interrupt this series to answer them.

Special Course On Catholicism And Reason (Chapter 8)

On the day after Jesus died on the cross, His enemies got permission from Pontius Pilate to place guards at the tomb of Christ because they recalled Jesus’ prediction that He would rise from the dead in three days. Jesus had predicted His Resurrection six times, but apparently only His enemies thought it might happen.
What happened on that first Easter? According to the soldiers guarding the tomb, there was an earthquake at dawn, the appearance of a dazzling angel, and the body of Jesus disappeared. When they told this story to the chief priests, they were paid a large sum of money and instructed instead to say that while they were sleeping, the Apostles came and stole the body.
Meanwhile, a group of women went to the tomb to finish preparing Jesus’ body for burial. One of them, Mary Magdalene, entered the empty tomb and saw an angel there. The angel said, “Do not be afraid! Jesus the crucified is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.” Magdalene ran to Jerusalem to tell the Apostles what had happened and returned to the tomb with Peter and John. They also entered the tomb and John saw the burial cloths that had wrapped the body of Jesus lying on the ground. When he saw the condition of the cloths, he believed that Jesus had risen, perhaps because the body of Our Lord has passed right through the cloths without unwrapping them.
Peter and John left, but Mary Magdalene stayed behind, weeping. She saw a man whom she assumed was the caretaker of the grave. He asked her why she was crying, and she said, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” The man then spoke Mary’s name and she recognized that it was Jesus. He told her to go and tell the others that He would see them soon. She ran back to Jerusalem and told everyone the great news, but no one believed her.
Later that day, two disciples of Jesus were walking to the village of Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, when a stranger (who was really Jesus) joined them. Jesus asked them why they seemed so sad. They explained that Jesus of Nazareth, “a prophet powerful in deed and word,” had been crucified and now they didn’t know what to do. “Oh, how foolish you are,” the stranger told them, explaining that all these things had to happen for Jesus to rise from the dead. He then quoted as proof all the prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament and sat down to eat supper with them in Emmaus. When He blessed and broke the bread, the disciples realized the stranger was Jesus, but He disappeared.
Later that night, the Apostles were discussing these strange reports when Jesus came through the locked door, stood in their midst, and said, “Peace be with you.” But they were terrified and thought Jesus was a ghost. When He asked for something to eat, they knew that ghosts didn’t eat and began to believe that it really was Jesus risen from the dead. The Apostle Thomas was not there that night and, when told later of Jesus’ appearance, said that he would not believe unless he could put his fingers into the nail marks in Jesus’ hands. A week later, Jesus appeared again to the Apostles and invited Thomas to do just that, but all Thomas could do was fall to his knees and say, “My Lord and my God!”
While some doubt that Jesus rose from the dead, there are three good reasons to believe in His greatest miracle: (1) The tomb was empty on Sunday morning and the only explanation that makes sense is that the Lord rose from the dead. (2) Jesus was seen over the next forty days by more than 500 people at different times and in different places. To suggest that all of them were crazy is absurd, especially since no one claimed to have seen Jesus after His Ascension into Heaven forty days after Easter. (3) Only the resurrection of Jesus can explain how the Apostles were transformed from frightened and confused men into brave and confident missionaries, and why they were willing to die for their belief in Jesus.

List of Answers

ANGEL
APOSTLES
APPEARANCES
BREAD
EMMAUS
GHOST
GOD
HUNDRED
JOHN
LORD
MAGDALENE
PEACE
SIX
THOMAS
TOMB
RESURRECTION

Quiz:

  1. Jesus predicted ______ different times that He would rise from the dead.
  2. The ________was empty on Easter Sunday morning. 3.The women saw an ___________________at the empty tomb. 4.___________ believed Jesus had risen from the dead after seeing His burial wrappings.
    5.Mary ____was the first person to see Jesus alive again. 6.Jesus walked with two men to the village of _________.
    7.They recognized Him in the breaking of the __.
    8.The Apostles thought Jesus was a __________ when He first appeared to them.
    9.He said to the frightened Apostles, “_ be with you.”
    10._____
    doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead.
    11.When Thomas saw Jesus, he said, “My __ and my God.”
  3. The __ were transformed by Jesus’ Resurrection.
  4. Jesus made many during the 40 days after Easter.
    14 He was seen by more than five __
    people during that time.
  5. Jesus’ greatest miracle was His _ from the dead.
  6. Jesus’ Resurrection proved that He was _.
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