"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:39) Those who hated the Savior and crucified Him believe that they had put an end to him forever. However, this was the Son of God and through His death came the resurrection and the assurance of eternal life.
Mormons believe in the literal resurrection of the body. "…Jesus died upon the cross…His spirit was literally and actually separated from His body…and it was only by the power of God that it could be again brought to life. We believe that we shall in very truth die, and that the spirit – that immortal part of man, which existed before the body was framed, and which shall exist and continue to live after that body has gone to decay, that spirit shall take upon itself again this tabernacle of earthly element, immortalized, however, and destined to serve it as a fit garment through all eternity."1
Through His suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross, no mortal can truly understand the agony in which the Savior bore. Those who loved Him, looked to Him for guidance and who were taught at His knee, now lowered Him from the cross and laid His body in a sealed tomb. He taught them of His forthcoming death and Resurrection, but they did not totally understand. Now they only felt hopeless and disconsolate.
With the passing of the Jewish Sabbath came a new day, a day that was to be the Lord's Day – Easter Day. Saddened and fearful that the Lord had been taken, Mary ran to the Disciple Simon Peter. "[The disciples] came running, and their fears were confirmed. Disconsolate, they looked and then “went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, 'Mary'. She turned herself, and saith unto him, 'Rabboni; which is to say, Master.' Jesus saith unto her, 'Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.' She who had loved Him so much, she who had been healed by Him, was the first to whom He appeared. There followed others, even, as Paul declares, up to 500 brethren at one time Now the Apostles understood what He had tried to teach them. Thomas, on feeling of His wounds, declared, 'My Lord and my God.'"2
It is through this great event, that we understand the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God and who, by His eternal power overcame death. He is the Redeemer of the World and who gave His life for each one of us. He is our comfort when death strikes a loved one or our own imminent death. We can know that the mortal body and spirit will again reunite and have the opportunity for eternal life because of the great sacrifice our Savior made.
A wonderful hymn that is sung in Latter-day Saint congregations states it fully:" I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me; Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me. I tremble to know that for me he was crucified; that for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died. Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me, enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"3
- "Conference Report, Apr 1912, pg. 124-26
- "Holy Bible"; John 20:2,10-17,28; I Corinthians 15:16, 55
- "Hymns" I Stand All Amazed", pg.193