The Good News According to Andrai
of the Resurrection of Yeshua HaMashiach
Mashiach’s Upper Room Appearances
as told by
Andrai bar Yonah
Marcus 16:9-14; Yochanan 20:18-31 (HNV)
when He had risen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to
Miryam from Magdala, from whom He had cast out seven demons.
10She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned
and wept. 11When they heard that He was alive, and had been seen by her, they
12After these things He was revealed in another form to two of
them, as they walked, on their way into the country.
13They went away and told it to the rest. They didn't believe them,
He was revealed to the eleven themselves as they sat at the table, and He
rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn't
believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
20:18Miryam from Magdala
came and told the talmidim [disciples] that she had seen the Lord, and
that He had said these things to her.
therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when
the doors were locked where the talmidim were assembled, for fear of the
Yehudim, Yeshua came and stood in the midst, and said to them,
"Shalom be to you."
20When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The
talmidim therefore were glad when they saw the Lord.
21Yeshua therefore said to them again,
"Shalom be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
22When He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them,
"Receive Ruach HaKodesh!
[the Holy Spirit]
23Whoever's sins you forgive, they have been
forgiven them. Whoever's sins you retain, they have been retained."
24But T'oma, one of the twelve, called Didymus, wasn't with them
when Yeshua came.
25The other talmidim therefore said
to him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print
of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
26After eight days again his talmidim were inside, and T'oma was
with them. Yeshua came, the doors being locked, and stood in the midst,
and said, "Shalom be to you."
27Then He said to T'oma, "Reach here your
finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side.
Don't be unbelieving, but believing."
28T'oma answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
29Yeshua said to him, "Because you have seen
me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have
Yeshua did many other signs in the presence of his talmidim, which are not
written in this book; 31but these are
written, that you may believe that Yeshua is haMashiach, the Son of
God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Most of us here this evening have been
Believers in Mashiach for some time now. Certainly many of us have known
Adonai Yeshua for thirty or forty years or more. Maybe there are some here
this evening who have only known Yeshua for a few months. And possibly
there are some here who have not yet met Yeshua of Nazareth in a personal
But surely there is nobody here who does
not know that we have come together in this place to remember and to
celebrate the resurrection of the historical Yeshua of Nazareth. There is
probably not one of who has not heard the story of the resurrection many
different times and in many different ways.
Four of Yeshua’s talmidim (disciples)
have left historical records for the Miqra.
First there was Yochanan Marcus, whom we
also know as John Mark. Marcus was a cousin of Yochanan bar Naba, or
Barnabas, and a close friend and probably a talmid of Shim`on Kefa, also
known by his Greek name Petros, or Simon Peter. His mother, Miryam,
one of the "Marys" who were closely associated with Yeshua, was a woman of
wealth and position in Yerushalayim, and perhaps the owner of the house in
which the Upper Room was located, maybe an inn or rooming house. At the
time of Mashiach’s resurrection, Marcus was probably a young lad of about
twelve or thirteen who sneaked out of his mother’s house dressed only in
his bed sheet and followed the disciples to Gethsemane on the night Yeshua
was arrested. The soldiers seized him, but he slipped out of the sheet and
ran away naked (Mark 14:51-52). Later he was privileged to go on the first
missionary journey with Rav Sha'ul and barNaba. Although he failed on that
first mission, about a dozen years later he was faithfully serving with
the great Shaliach (Apostle or Emissary).
The second to write of the life of
Yeshua, certainly the most scholarly of the four accounts, was a Greek
physician named Lucas who had become a convert to Judaism and traveled for
years with Rav Sha'ul. In the introduction to his record, Dr. Lucas states
that he alone has attempted to write a chronological account based on
first-person interviews and careful investigative reporting.
The third account of the life of Yeshua
was written by a Jew named Mattityahu Levi (Mattathias or Matthew) a
former tax collector for the Roman government.
The last to write of the life of
Mashiach was Yochanan, or John, the Elder, a fisherman who was the son of
Zevdai and Salome and the younger brother of Ya`akov, whom we also know as
James. Yochanan and Ya`akov were partners with Shim`on and his brother
Andrai (Andrew) in a successful fishing business based in Capernaum on the
northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The stormy personalities of the two
sons of Zevdai earned them the nickname, "sons of thunder." Written
probably fifty years after the resurrection, Yochanan's account was
intended not as a detailed biography of Yeshua HaMashiach, but rather as a
theology of the Son of God.
These four accounts have been left for
the Miqra and have been carefully guarded and preserved for our
understanding by Ruach HaKodesh, and are available in your Bibles for
review at your convenience.
This evening, however, I would like to
introduce to you a man of whom you have surely read if you have read any
of the four inspired accounts of the life of Yeshua of Nazareth. His name
is Andrai bar Yonah, or Andrew the Son of Jonah. In modern English we
would call him Andrew Johnson.
The Beloved Shaliach Yochanan (Apostle
John) tells us that Andrai bar Yonah was a talmid (disciple or student) of
Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist). Immediately following Yeshua’s
return from His temptation in the wilderness, He passed by where Yochanan
was administering the rite of mikvah (baptizing), and Yochanan introduced
Andrai to Yeshuah. Andrai became the first talmid of Yeshua ha Mashiach.
Andrai spent the rest of that day with Yeshua listening to Him teach. On
the following morning he became the very first Messianic evangelist when
he went to find his brother Shim`on and told him, "We have found
haMashiach (the Messiah)!" It was Shim`on bar Yonah whom Yeshua would
later name Kefa, the Rock (Petros in Greek).
So this is the Shaliach Andrai bar Yonah,
and this is his account of the events of Resurrection Day.
That evening of the first day of the
first resurrection week will burn forever in my heart and my mind, not
just in this life, but also in the life to come.
We had come up to Yerushalayim, the City
of Peace, for the celebration of the Pesach that year. I have to chuckle
every time I say that phrase, “up to Yerushalayim,” for up
is exactly what it is. The Holy City of HaShem sits high atop Mount Zion,
towering some four thousand feet straight up above the level of the Salt
Sea. Of course the city lies in ruins now, destroyed by General Titus only
some 35 years after our Lord’s resurrection. But while it was still
standing you could see the Temple for hundreds of miles, especially when
approached from the east at sunrise or from the west at sunset. The rays
of the sun would strike the white stone and the gold overlays, and for a
few brief moments it would shine atop the mountain as if illuminated by
the glory of the Holy One Himself, blessed be He.
On the first day of Pesach week we had
entered Yerushalayim with Adonai Yeshua riding on a donkey as a
peace-bringing king entering a conquered city. The crowds were shouting,
“Hashanah bar David,” “Hosanna to the Son of David!” — using the title
that the prophets had used for the Mashiach. “Baruch haba b'shem Adonai
... Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!” Everyone was
cheering and waving palm branches, and lying their cloaks in His path, as
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) had said, “Make straight the path of the Lord!”
We were sure then, as was much of
Yerushalayim, that the Mashiach had finally come to set us free from the
yoke of Roman oppression and to establish the Holy One’s Kingdom on Earth.
After all, both Yeshua and Yochanan the Immerser before Him had preached
to all of Yisrael, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is now
Looking back on it now, it all seems so
strange, how the mood of the crowd can change so drastically in only four
short days. I remember it like it was only yesterday, though it has been,
what, nearly forty years now? Pesach came on the first day before Shabbat
(Friday) that year, and all the sacrificial lambs had been taken into
homes all throughout the nation of Yisrael as Moshe required. There was a
little-known provision in the Torah which allowed the Pesach Seder to be
celebrated on the Day of Preparation if for some reason it would be
impossible to observe the meal on the Pesach Shabbat itself.
So we were a little surprised when
Yeshua told us to go to the home of Miryam and her cousin Yosef, whom we
also called barNabas, and arrange for us to observe the Pesach a day
early, on the first day of Unleavened Bread. Miryam was a righteous and
very wealthy lady who ran an inn, what you would probably call a boarding
house in your time, and we met together there rather often. Her young son,
Yochanan Marcus, was really a delightful young man, and we had all
attended his Bar Mitzvah just the year before. On the other hand, he was
full of life, and a real handful for his mother from time to time. But the
young man loved to sit with us and listen to Yeshua as he taught us from
the Scriptures. We all knew he would grow into a fine man some day, maybe
even a Rabbi — who could know?
As we were eating the Pesach Seder that
night, Yeshua did something very strange! As he gave the brachah, the
blessing, over the second matzah, the Bread if Affliction, he said to us,
“Take, eat; this is my body.” And after the meal, when He gave the brachah
over the third cup, the Cup of Blessing and Redemption, He said to us,
“Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the b'rit chadasha
(renewed covenant), which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
And then He told us that He would not drink of the Cup of Blessing and
Redemption again until His Father’s Kingdom has been established.
When we heard that, our hearts leapt for
joy, for surely He meant that He was going to establish the Kingdom any
day now! Then we all sang the Pesach Hallel, the 136th in our Scroll of
Psalms, and went across the Kidron Valley to pray together in the olive
garden that He enjoyed so much. It was, next to the mountaintop, His
favorite place to pray.
The events of the rest of that night and
the next day are horrible beyond all imagination, and I do not wish to
spoil your celebration of this Holy Day be recounting them to you now. It
is enough to say that He was arrested by the Temple Guard that night and,
after a mockery the Sanhedrin had the audacity to call a “trial,” they
turned Him over to the Romans to be crucified.
We were all frightened to death; now that Yeshua had been declared a
criminal and a blasphemer by the Council, all our lives were in serious
jeopardy as well. We all ran for our lives, just as the prophets had said
we would, though most of us had regained some little courage and had come
back to be with Him as He died.
All day long He suffered, hanging there
between heaven and earth. And yet, true to the prophecy as illustrated in
the Pesach Seder, just as the Kohen haGodal (High Priest) cut the throat
of the chosen lamb in the Temple, Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, “It
is finished.” And then He slumped over against the nails in death. At that
very moment there was a terrible earthquake, and the veil in the Temple
was torn from top to bottom by the very hand of the Holy One Himself,
blessed be He. People began screaming all over the city, and we heard the
Roman centurion cry out in terror, “Surely this was the Son of God.”
And again we all fled, agreeing to meet later back at Miryam’s house.
We had two friends on the Council,
however, secretly His talmidim (disciples): Nicodemus and Yoseph of
Arimathea. It was Yoseph who went to Pilate after Yeshua died, and took
His body and placed Him in a new tomb that Yoseph had just had carved out
of the rock in the beautiful garden behind
his house. What a beautiful house, and what a
beautiful garden; such a shame that it was only a few hundred feet
from the crossroads where the Roman oppressors
carried out most of their public executions.
But what I really want to tell you about
was the events of that Resurrection Day.
We had concluded our Shabbat
evening Havdala service (the service in which we bid a fond farewell to
Queen Shabbat for the week and “differentiate” … for that is what havdala
means … between the sacred Shabbat and the secular days of the week) in
the upstairs dining room Miryam’s boarding house, and were all reclining
around the table discussing the events of the previous week.
It was only an hour or so
after sunset that evening when Miryam Magdala came running in all out of
breath and crying, saying that the body of Yeshua had been stolen. She had
said something about seeing angels in the garden who had said that Yeshua
had been raised from the dead, but she had been so upset that nobody had
paid much attention to her ramblings. And besides, everybody knows that
nobody really sees angels much these days.
Kefa and Yochanan left the table and ran
to the tomb in Yosef’s back yard. It was only about a mile away through
the twisted streets of the city. Less than a half hour later, Kefa and
Yochanan came running back saying that they had found His grave clothes
undisturbed in the tomb, as though He had simply vanished right through
them. They also had found his tallit folded in the prescribed manner, as
only a Jew would have folded it, lying at the foot of the stone bench on
which His body had been laid to rest. If someone had stolen the body, they
said, surely the grave clothes would either have been unwrapped or taken
with Him, and certainly no thief would have taken the time to properly
fold his tallit. They had looked for the soldiers who had been assigned to
watch the tomb, but they were nowhere to be found.
Yochanan told us that he and Kefa had
gone around to the front door of Yosef’s house and disturbed Yoseph and
Nicodemus, but neither of them had noticed any unusual activity in the
garden. They both said that they did remember feeling a rather strong
earthquake, though, just after sunset, probably another aftershock from
Friday’s big quake, but neither of them had left the house in the past few
hours. Then Kefa said he remembered that Yeshua had said one time that it
was necessary for Him to die and to be raised up again. And another time
He had said, “Destroy this temple,” speaking of His own body, “and in
three days I will raise it up.”
Yochanan and Kefa then returned to the
Upper Room (as we called it) at Miryam’s house, and had sent Miriam’s son
Marcus (that was the name his Greek father had given him, though most of
us called him called him Yochanan, his Hebrew name) to summon all of
Yeshua’s talmidim together for an emergency meeting as soon as it became
light. The traitor Yehudah had hanged himself the night Yeshua was
arrested, and they had not been able to find T'oma anywhere, but the other
ten of us, along with some of the others who had been with Yeshua, met
back in the room just after sunrise.
When Kefa arrived for that early-morning
meeting, he was so excited he was actually jumping up and down like a
little boy. He said that Yeshua had appeared to him! It was true! He was
alive, and He had said that He had forgiven Kefa for denying Him those
three times. Of course everyone knew that old impetuous Kefa was always
going off half-cocked about something or other — like the time when he and
Ya'acov (you would probably know him by his English name of James) — the
time when Kefa and Ya'acov and Yochanan had gone up on the mountain with
Yeshua, and Moshe and Eliyahu had appeared to them. Yeshua had been
mysteriously covered in the shekinah glory, and the Holy One Himself,
blessed be He, had actually spoken to them out of the clouds. And Kefa had
shot off his mouth and said something really dumb, like, “Gosh, shouldn’t
we build some sukkot (you probably call them tabernacles) for Moshe and
Eliyahu!” People will probably be talking about that blunder for
maybe even the next hundred years! Kefa had been so embarrassed that he
thought he should die!
So we had taken Kefa’s reputation into
account when he told us that he had seen Yeshua, and nobody really got
very excited about it. In fact, Kefa’s excitement had just seemed to make
our grief worse, and many of us were weeping openly.
But then just a few minutes later Miryam
Magdala, Miriam the mother of Ya'acov, barNabas’s wife Salome, Yohanna,
and some of the other women came bursting into the room saying that they
had also seen Yeshua in the garden, and that they had actually touched
Him, so they knew they weren’t seeing a vision or having an hallucination.
Maybe there was something to these
resurrection stories after all. Maybe our hopes for the Messianic Kingdom
hadn’t died with Yeshua. Maybe He was really alive, and was going to drive
out the Roman oppressors and set up His kingdom here in Yerushalayim. If
that were so, we knew that were going to have to get organized and spread
We set a time for an organizational
meeting to be held later that evening, and we all left to go about our
Soon it was evening, and we had started
our meeting with dinner. After all, what better way to discuss business
than with a full stomach? We had to be very careful though, because rumors
had started flying through Yerushalayim that the body of Yeshua had been
stolen. And Yosef and Nicodemus had secretly sent us a message to be on
the lookout for the temple guard. They had overheard some of the
Kohanim Gedolim (Chief Priests) saying that they had bribed the Roman soldiers
who had been guarding the tomb. They had given the soldiers a large amount
of money to say that some of us had come during the night and stolen our
How ridiculous! Nobody would ever
believe that a handful of fishermen would dare take on a squad of Roman
Legionnaires over the body of a dead Rabbi. But then, hadn’t those same
priests just convicted Yeshua of heresy based on the testimony of false
witnesses they had bribed? And the Romans just loved any excuse to crucify
a Jew whenever they could! We just couldn’t be careful enough, especially
for the next few days.
So here we were, sitting around in the
dining room of our friend’s rooming house, waiting for the meeting to get
started. Miryam’s staff hadn’t come in to clear away the dinner dishes and
the leftovers yet. Suddenly there was a knock at the door, and I went to
see who it was.
Klofah and his wife, Miryam, were
standing at the head of the stairs, all out of breath. I let them in the
room and quickly locked the door so that there would be no chance that the
spies of the Council would see us meeting together.
Klofa and Miryam told us that they had
just run almost all the way from Amma'us, about sixty stadia (nearly seven
miles), to bring us some wonderful news! When the lunch meeting had broken
up, they said, they had gone up to Amma'us to visit Miryam’s sister, and
on the way they had been talking over the events of that morning. A
stranger had joined them on the road, and had told them things about the
Mashiach that they had never considered before. This stranger really knew
the Scriptures — especially the Scriptures that were about Mashiach!
They told us that when they had arrived
at Amma'us, the stranger had started to continue on up the road, but they
had offered to buy Him dinner so they could listen to some more of His
wonderful teaching. And then, as He had said the Brachah haMatzi, the
blessing over the bread, they had gotten a good look at His hands! There
were gaping holes that the nails of the cross had left in His wrists. Then
they had looked more closely at His face and had seen the puncture marks
on His forehead from the crown of thorns! It was Yeshua! And He was alive!
And as suddenly as they had recognized Him, He had simply vanished!
Disappeared without a trace!
And they had run almost all the way back
to Yerushalayim to tell us. Yeshua was alive and they had seen Him. Most
of us were so excited would could hardly contain ourselves. But, on the
other hand, some of us were very skeptical. And, on the other hand, some
of us just could not make up our minds.
And then, all of a sudden, Yeshua was
standing there in the middle of the room. Just like that! One minute He
wasn’t there. The next minute He was standing there! I must tell you,
that’s something that you don't see every day! And I must tell you
something else; that’s something you don’t forget — not ever, let me tell
We stood there staring with our mouths
hanging open. We didn’t know what to say. What do you say to your best
friend who was alive, and then He was dead, and all of a sudden He is
alive again? I want to tell you, you don’t just say, “Hello, Yeshua, and
how was dinner in Amma'us, and would you like some dessert, Yeshua?!”
All of a sudden Yeshua just smiled that
wonderful smile of His that we remembered so well, and He said to us,
“Shalom alaychem! Peace to you!” And then he pulled up His sleeves, and he
took off His sandals, and He opened His robe like a mother about to feed
her hungry baby, and He showed us the deep wounds the nails had made in
His wrists and in His heels, and the terrible gash in His breast where the
Roman spear had pierced His heart. As happy as we were to see Him, His
mother was ten times that happy, I want to tell you. And she hugged His
neck and she kissed Him. And then we were all hugging Him and kissing Him
and hugging each other and kissing each other. And some of us began
singing psalms of praise to Abba HaShem, blessed be He. And many of us
were praying, and many of us were shouting with joy, and many of us were
overcome with tears of happiness. It was such a night as I shall never
forget, not in this life or in the next!
As we slowly began to regain our
composure, Yeshua smiled at us again, and swept His arms around as if to
embrace the whole room as a mother hen gathers her chicks to her. And
again he said to us, “Shalom alaychem. As Abba has sent Me, I also send
you.” And then he went up to each of us and breathed on us. And as He
breathed on us he said to each one of us, “Receive Ruach HaKodesh.” And
suddenly we felt ourselves being filled with joy and a feeling of great
And then He said to us, “If you forgive
the sins of anyone, their sins will already have been forgiven in heaven;
if you retain the sins of anyone, their sins will already have been
retained in heaven.” And so saying, he gave us the authority to announce
the Kingdom of God and salvation to all men who would receive
Him as their Lord and Redeemer, the Holy One of Yisrael.
The next day when we finally located
T'oma and told him that Yeshua had spent the evening with us, he told us
“Unless I see and touch the nail prints in His hands and put my hand into
the wound in His side, I will not believe that He is alive.”
The following week we were again
celebrating Havdala in Miriam’ “Upper Room” again, and T'oma was with us,
Yeshua again appeared inside the locked room. “Shalom alaychem,” He said.
Then He looked straight into T'oma’s face, and said to him, “Reach here
your finger, and see My hands; and reach here with your hand, and put it
into My side; and stop being an unbeliever, and be a believer.”
As soon as Yeshua had said that to him,
T'oma fell to His knees and said to Yeshua, “Yahweh `Eli!” addressing Him
with that holiest of all Names that we Yehudim had always reserved for the
Holy One Himself, blessed be He.
And Yeshua reached down and took T'oma’s
hand and helped him to his feet, and said to him, “Have you now believed
because you have seen Me? Blessed are they who have not seen, and still
Yeshua did and said many things and
worked many wonders there among us in the next forty days before He
returned home to Abba. And as Yochanan has said in his scroll of the Good
News, I suppose that if all the other things that Yeshua did were written
down, the world itself could not contain all the scrolls that would be
But I have come here to speak with you
today so that you may believe that Yeshua is HaMashiach, Yisrael’s
Messiah, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have
eternal life in His Name.
And so here ends the testimony of Andrai
bar Yonah, brother of Shim`on Kefa, and bond-servant of the Adonai Yeshua
HaMashiach. And it is in Yeshua’s name that all the Believers gathered
together here in this place invite you to receive Yeshua HaMashiach as
your Lord and Savior, and to share with Him and with us the grace of
God and the free gift of eternal life.
This message was first delivered by Dr.
Sawyer at the evening service at
First Baptist Church, Mineral Wells, West Virginia, on Resurrection Day
Thursday, September 27, 2012 11:01 AM