By Nancy Harlacher
This painting is the artist's interpretation of the early morning scene of the moment of resurrection as it might have occurred just prior to the arrival at the tomb of the two Marys and Salome "at the rising of the sun" (Mark 16:2). The darkness of the hillside illustrates the earliness of the hour, and the storm clouds reflect the results of the earthquake that occurred at the time the angels rolled the stone from the entrance of the tomb.
Though nothing is recorded as to exactly how Jesus was resurrected, the painting suggests that at the moment the stone was rolled away, Jesus stepped forth in an act of triumph and joy! No one but the angels would have witnessed this, because, "For fear of them the keepers [Roman guards] did shake, and became as though they were dead." This was because the "countenance [of the angels] was like lightning, and their raiment white as snow" (Matthew 28:3).
The artist has attempted to capture the overwhelming majesty of the moment of Jesus' emergence from the sepulcher. As His eyes look upward in triumph to His Heavenly Father, the angels rejoice while seated on the stone they have just rolled from the doorway.
Scriptures about Christ's Resurrection
In the end of the Sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, early in the morning, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
And behold, there had been a great earthquake; for two angels of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. And their countenance was like lightning, and their raiment white as snow; and for fear of them the keepers did shake, and became as though they were dead.
And the angels answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; for we know that ye seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay; and go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him; lo, I have told you.
And they departed quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher, and two angels standing by it in shining garments.
And they entered into the sepulcher, and not finding the body of the Lord Jesus, they were much perplexed thereabout; and were affrighted, and bowed down their faces to the earth. But behold the angels said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen. Remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again?
And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
Prints of the above painting are available in various sizes for purchase at the Restoration Bookstore or from our online store.