“He is not here… for He is risen.”
The accounts of the resurrection of Christ described in the New Testament show several different reactions by the followers of Jesus. The women who went to the tomb early in the morning of the third day were frightened when they heard the angel say, “He is not here, He has risen.” The significance of what the angel told them did not sink into their minds. They were not only frightened but confused and bewildered by what they saw. They did not understand. Later on, when Peter came to the tomb, even he was not completely sure of what was going on. The disciples did not fully understand what had happened and one, Thomas, would go so far as to say, “I won’t believe in the resurrection unless I can see Him and touch Him.”
Eventually the followers of Jesus came to accept and believe that the resurrection was real and that Jesus was indeed alive! The savior appeared to many of them on several occasions following the discovery of the empty tomb. And Thomas had his opportunity to see and touch the wounds that Jesus bore.
But in this world today, we do not have an empty tomb to visit. We do not have others around us who have witnessed in person what happened in those days following the death of our Lord. We have only the written Word of God in the Bible to tell us about this glorious event. So everything we know and feel about the empty tomb is arrived by what we read and by our personal convictions and faith.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ, as exemplified by the empty tomb, is the single greatest event in the history of the world. The great Christmas story of His birth or any of the wonderful stories of His time on earth or the accounts of the horrible way he died, all must defer to the resurrection. For if Christ had not been raised from the dead nothing else would have mattered. By showing mankind His authority over the grave, God demonstrated once and for all His majesty, His power, and most of all, His Love for each human being.
During this “Resurrection” season each of us should pause and ask ourselves, “How do I react to the empty tomb?” Are we confused by it? Are we confused by it? Do we see it as simply a time to dress up and go to church? Do we see it as an opportunity to color and hide eggs so the children can have a fun time? Or do we see the empty tomb for what it really is – evidence of God’s love and grace for each of us.
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