Just As He Said
“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words,” (Luke 24:1-8)
In just a couple of days, we will observe the death and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Like the women who went to prepare Jesus’ body, we will watch as He is tried, beaten and hung to die on a cross. If we really understand what happened on that hill two thousand years ago, we will grieve, knowing that it was our place to be on that cross – that Jesus took our place, died a death that He didn’t deserve, so that our sins could be forgiven if we only believe.
We will go the tomb and look inside and, if we really understand what happened in that grave two thousand years ago, our hearts will explode with excitement and wonder at the fact that it is empty! Just as He said, Christ has risen, and is alive today! Hallelujah!
By dying, He provided the sacrifice for our sin, and with His resurrection, He defeated hell and death and the fear and finality they held over us. Like the women, we will remember His words, and know that this was planned from the foundation of the world. God knew that, in our sin and disobedience, we would rebel against Him and destroy our perfect fellowship with Him. He knew that a perfect sacrifice would be required to right the terrible wrongs in our life and bring us back to Him. And, He willingly gave His Son, and Jesus willingly went to the cross, because their love for us eclipsed our wickedness.
When I look up at the cross standing in our baptistery, do you know what I see? It’s empty – Jesus isn’t hanging there in death. It isn’t a reminder of death and defeat. It is a reminder that the cross, like the tomb, was used by Christ to purchase our new life, and that it’s emptiness is a permanent reminder of the power we have, through Christ, over sin and ruin. He is not there – He has been resurrected! And, with that truth, we are dead to sin and its slavery and alive to a new life with God in Christ.
Let’s celebrate that with a renewed spirit this Easter!