Jesus had told His disciples that He would die at the hands of men and be raised up on the third day. He said this when they were in Galilee, quite a few months before the events would come to pass. (Have a look at this timeline of Jesus’s ministry.)
Matthew 17:22-23a (WEBBE): 22While they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered up into the hands of men, 23and they will kill him, and the third day he will be raised up.”
I think that Jesus told them what would happen so that they could be prepared for it. And so that they will not despair, because they would know that His death is not the end.
It happened just like He had said.
Luke 24:1-7 (WEBBE): 1But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they and some others came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3They entered in, and didn’t find the Lord Jesus’ body. 4While they were greatly perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling clothing. 5Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth.
They said to them, “Why do you seek the living amongst the dead? 6He isn’t here, but is risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee, 7saying that the Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again?”
The “men in dazzling clothing” knew exactly when Jesus had prophesied His resurrection – the time when He was in Galilee. Matthew adds other details to his account of the event.
Matthew 28:1-7 (WEBBE): 1Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2Behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from the sky, and came and rolled away the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him, the guards shook, and became like dead men. 5The angel answered the women, “Don’t be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who has been crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying. 7Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead, and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”
Jesus chose to meet his disciples at the same place – in Galilee! Not only did the major parts of the prophesy come true, but also the little details all line up!
Victory over death
2 Timothy 1:8-10 (WEBBE): 8Therefore don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, 9who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, 10but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Good News.
Jesus defeated death.
Hebrews 2:14-15 (WEBBE): 14Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in the same way partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
And specifically the devil, who had the power of death until then, was so absolutely defeated that he was brought to nothing.
Matthew 28:18 (WEBBE): 18Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.
With the devil defeated, Jesus now has all authority in heaven and on earth.