The Lord is risen indeed... (Luke 24:34)
The Bible is a compilation of sixty-six blessed and unique books. Among those books are four we refer to as the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each of these is an account of the earthly life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the key figure in all of the Word of God. He is present in all sixty-six books. Yet again, the four Gospels share specifically about Christ’s earthly life and ministry.
Each of them shares a unique picture of the life of Christ. Each of them shares stories or instances in the Lord’s life which may or may not be included in one or more of the other Gospels. Yet each of the four Gospels contains the story of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some might ask, “Why do we need four Gospels and why, of all the aspects of his life, does each Gospel make sure to include the story of Christ’s resurrection?” These are important questions to consider.
Why four Gospels? One very important reason is, each Gospel is an account, a telling of the life, actions, and events of Christ and each author shares his account from his own perspective. No two accounts are just alike.
A reporter on the scene of an event may receive four very different accounts of the same event from four people he chose to interview. Similarly, the four authors of the four Gospels each share their unique point of view. And none of them tell their story quite the same.
The four Gospels together paint a much fuller, brighter, and more detailed picture of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Each Gospel adds to our view details of Christ’s love, His beauty, greatness, and fullness – Jesus the Messiah, our Savior, the Son of Man, the Son of God – and God.
So, those who read all four Gospels come away with a much more detailed, fuller, and richer picture of Christ than those who only read one of the four.
Each Gospel tells the story of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Each one gives an account of the events of His passion. They each include details of the times and events that led up to His suffering, humiliation, death on the cross, entombment, and His rising from the dead.
So, the story of the passion of Christ is told four times through four different accounts. Once again, the question arises “Why tell this story over and over - four times?” It can be difficult to read about Christ’s passion one time. Why should it be told four times over – with all the cruel and heavy details that each particular story reveals?
Again, the four accounts paint a fuller, richer, and much more accurate portrait of the suffering, torture, and the harrowing treatment Christ endured – all because He loved us just that much. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit loved the world so much that they were willing to endure all of this – so that we could spend eternity with them.
Each Gospel shares truths that help us better understand God’s amazing love for us as He paints the picture of the love demonstrated in the life of Christ. Each Gospel contributes wonderfully to the full picture we have.
Matthew’s Gospel account of Christ’s resurrection is found in Matthew 28. This chapter includes the resurrection of Christ and the Great Commission. Here, the church of Jesus Christ is told in no uncertain terms what our mission and priority is as the church now that Christ is risen! We are to go and make disciples!
Mark’s Gospel account of the Lord’s resurrection is in Mark 16. In Mark, we not only hear of Christ’s glorious resurrection, but Christ also reminds us of the power of God that will follow those that believe as we faithfully spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:15-18).
In the Gospel of Luke, the resurrection story is found in chapter 24. In this chapter, the Lord Jesus has risen from the dead and appears in some unique circumstances to his astonished yet joy-filled disciples. The powerful chapter ends with His ascension into heaven.
Then in the Gospel of John, the resurrection story of Christ is told in chapter 20. Here the disciples are commissioned by Christ and in chapter twenty-one, (the only gospel to include this particular story) Christ spends some time and teaches His disciples important truths before His ascension.
A fruitful goal for you and your family could consist of taking the time to read through one or all the passion stories in the Gospels. These are found in Matthew chapters 26–28, Mark 14–16, Luke 22–24, and John 18–21.
If you take the opportunity to do this, the activity is its own reward.