Can you imagine going to the tomb early Sunday morning with spices to anoint Jesus’ body and you find the stone that was in front of the tomb rolled away? You look inside and it’s empty! You panic. You wonder what happened. Where is Jesus’ body? Who took it away?
As you stand there feeling confused, helpless and distressed, a man in white appears. You are scared. Where did he come from? Then you hear him say, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” You flee, scared and amazed by what you have just heard. Jesus was alive! On your way to see the disciples, you run into Jesus Himself! He says to you, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” With a heart filled with joy, you run and tell His disciples the good news.
What if you were Mary Magdalene who found the tomb empty and wondered who took her Lord away? She runs to tell the disciples. Peter and John race to the tomb and find it empty just as she said. They look inside and all they see are the linen cloths which His body had been wrapped in and the kerchief lying there, neatly folded. They marvel and leave while Mary remains.
Beside herself with grief, she weeps and stoops down, looking through her tears at the empty tomb when she sees two angels who ask her why she is crying. After she explains that she is wondering where her Lord was, she heard someone behind her and turns to see whom she thinks is the gardener. He asks her the same thing–why are you weeping. She explains and then, she hears Him call her name and her heart leaps with joy and amazement. “Teacher!” she cries out and she runs to Him but He gently dissaudes her from touching Him because He still had to go to His Father. He tells her to go and tell the disciples this. Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and told them what He said.
Imagine you are one of the disciples and Jesus appears, standing among you and says, “Peace to you.” But you and the others are terrified and frightened, and believe that you are seeing a spirit. And Jessu says to you, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
After He says this, He shows you His hands and His feet. Would you still find it hard to believe that He is alive even though He is right there in front of you? Luke said that the disciples still did not believe for joy, and marveled. Thomas refused to believe until he saw Jesus with his own eyes. Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed [are] those who have not seen and [yet] have believed.”
We personally did not see the risen Christ but we believe the testimonies of those who did. We believe that Jesus came to save the world and that He died and was raised from the dead just as He said. We believe in His testimony and the Gospel accounts of His resurrection. Today we celebrate His victory over death. He is risen! He is sitting in the realms of heaven with the Father. And one day we will see Him face to face when He comes in the clouds with the angels to take us home. Until that day, let us continue to spread the good news that we serve a risen Savior and bring others to Him so that they too can have eternal life.
Praise God who gives us the victory over death, the last enemy that will be destroyed, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!