Was the resurrection of Jesus physical or spiritual?
When Jesus had died, some of his companions went to Joseph of Arimathea; for they had often seen him among the people when Jesus was speaking. And they asked him to seek leave of the Council that they might take the body of Jesus down and bury it.
And Joseph promised to speak to Caiaphas about it.
When he came to them with the leave of the Council, he asked if they had a place where they could lay the body to rest. But they answered that they had none yet. Then said Joseph to them: "Take his body to my garden, which I shall show you; for there in the rock has been hewn a tomb where I myself should be laid to rest. I will give you this place, that the Master's body may rest in peace."
The companions and disciples thanked him much for his gift.
But the words Joseph spoke were not for the sake of Jesus, and neither for the sake of the disciples, but for his own sake; for he had often heard it said that Jesus would rise from the dead and appear before them; therefore would he keep watch that none should remove secretly the body and thus be able to say: "See! He is risen from the dead!"
Then the disciples took the body of Jesus to the tomb, and the women anointed it and wrapped it in white linen. And they laid it inside the hewn tomb, and they placed a boulder before the entrance.
When all this had been done, they left the garden so that together they might mourn him who had departed from them.
Only Joseph remained behind, and he watched at the tomb until day's dawning; then he went back to his house; for he knew that on the Sabbath day, while the sun shone, no one would remove the body.
But he pondered the whole day on how he should prevent that anyone remove the body of Jesus.
While he thus pondered, the Elder, the Servant of the Darkness, stood at his side and gave him evil counsel.
And when the last hour of the Sabbath day had passed, Joseph called an older servant to him and bade him accompany him to the garden. And they brought implements with which to dig in the ground.
When they were come to the place, they pushed aside the boulder and laid upon the ground the white linen that had been placed about the body of Jesus. Then they bore the body to a distant corner of the garden, and they buried it in the earth. And they covered the place with broken branches that none should see what they had done.
When they had finished, it began to dawn and they hastened back to the tomb in order to place the boulder again before the entrance.
But when they reached there, Joseph heard a voice distantly saying: "Brother, why did you this? And when he turned he beheld faintly the radiant figure of Jesus. And in great fear he fell to the ground.
When the elderly servant hurried to aid his master, he beheld also the figure of him whose body he had but shortly before buried in the earth. And great fear overcame him, and he fled from the garden.
When Joseph had regained his composure, the vision was gone and he was alone. But he heard a distant voice that said: "Return the body of Jesus from whence you have taken it; for do you not, then will your wrongful deed bring much confusion to the people."
But the Elder, the Servant of the Darkness, stood at his side. And the Darkness fell on Joseph, while fear filled his heart so that he dared not go back to where he had laid the body of Jesus.
And he fled out of the garden and to his house.
But when he was come there, he saw that the elderly servant sat wailing on the threshold while many confusing words passed his lips.
Then Joseph knew that this man was not able to keep silent about what he had seen.
And the Elder, the servant of the Darkness, whispered evil counsel to him; and Joseph said: “I shall bring you a cup of wine that you may be refreshed, for that which you have seen has taken away your strength."
Joseph brought him the wine, but in the cup was death.
And a while after the old man had drunk of it, he fell back upon the ground and his spirit left his body.
Then Joseph went into his house to be alone with his terror and with his remorse.
When day broke, the servants of the house found the old man; some of them carried him into the house, while others told their master what had happened; and all believed that the old man had died of the infirmities of age, and none came to know that his master had taken his life.
A while after Joseph had fled from the garden, some women came there to mourn at the tomb and in the stillness talk of him who had left them.
When they had come, they saw that the boulder had been removed from the entrance. And they wondered much, and they dared not enter for they feared someone lay hidden in the dark.
After some talk, the woman who was Mary of Magdala said: "I will go in, for I am not in fear."
And when she stood by the hewn grave she saw that it was empty, and she found the white linen in disarray on the ground.
And she hastened back to the waiting women, and she said: “He is gone! By chance to his Heavenly Father, as he so often said he would? Or has someone taken away his body? Let us go to the city and tell of what has come to pass!”
But when she turned to go from the garden, she saw faintly before her the radiant form of Jesus of Nazareth.
He smiled and stretched his hands toward her.
When Mary of Magdala saw him, she cried out in joy: "Master, have you returned to us?" And she ran forward to greet him.
But when she reached the place, he was there no longer.
And in sorrow she called to the other two women and said: "I saw him. He was here, but he has again gone. Remain here, that he shall not be alone should he return. I will hasten to the city and call upon Simon Peter and some of the others."
And she hurried away.
The women who stayed behind wondered at her words, for they had not seen Jesus of Nazareth. They saw but Mary of Magdala run forward, and they heard her cry out; but him they saw not.
And they said to one another: "Let us seek here in the garden, for he has surely not gone far away from here."
And they walked about and searched everywhere, but they found him not.
Then one said: “Let us look in the tomb. Mayhap he has hidden himself there."
But they saw only the empty tomb, saw only the white shroud upon the ground. And, disappointed, they went back.
And they agreed to go to meet the friends who were on the way.
When they had walked along the road a while in silence, the woman who was Salome said: "I had a vision in the darkness of the tomb. I saw an angel in radiant garb. He sat by the hewn grave; but a great fear bound my tongue, so I dared not speak of it till now."
The other woman who was Mary, the mother of Jacob, one of the companions of Jesus, answered and said: "I also had this vision; but there were two angels; for I saw one behind him who sat by the grave; he pointed upwards with his hand, and he said some words which I understood not."
But Salome, the woman who had spoken first, said that but one angel sat by the grave. And they quarreled heatedly and long over something neither had seen; for each had spoken falsely to the other of her vision; for not all people are equally truthful, and these women would not be second to Mary of Magdala.
And when Simon Peter, followed by some of the disciples, later came to where the women awaited them, they both spoke of what they had seen in the darkness of the tomb, and all wondered much.
Simon Peter and the others hastened to the garden and they searched all about, but they found him not.
They saw that the tomb was empty, but him they saw not.