And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.Mark 16:6(NASB)
Were it not for the cross, we could never have been forgiven of our sins and delivered from our offenses against God, but were it not for the resurrection we would have no proof of Christ's claims to be our Saviour.
By His sinless life and substitutionary death He was victorious over death and by His resurrection he broke the power of sin and death in the lives of all who believe in Him - for as our risen and glorified Saviour, we have been given His own resurrected life - our new, born-again life in Christ.
Though 'weeping endured for a night', what joy must have filled the heart of those faithful women, when very early in the morning they saw that the very large stone had been rolled away, and discovered the empty tomb. What amazement must have filled their hearts as trembling.. they entered inside and saw that young man, dressed in a white robe sitting where the dead body of the Lord Jesus Christ had been laid.
No wonder he quickly told them: don't be alarmed - don't be afraid'. But image the thrill and anticipation that must have pounded their heart as they heard those words of encouragement for the very first time: You seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
Imagine the rush of thrilling anticipation and wonder, when they discovered that Jesus was not dead but alive. They had expected to find a dead Messiah but instead they rejoiced to hear news of their risen Saviour.
It was 2000 years ago that those earth-shattering words were heard for the very first time, but too frequently in our age and generation those profound words are taken for granted and the eternal significance is lost in the echo of their familiarity.
Let us never forget that the resurrection is as much a part of the glorious gospel of Christ as is His Substitutionary Death:- where He paid the price for our sin - His Deity, whereby He alone was good enough to pay the price for sin and redeem the race of fallen sinners - and His Humanity, without which He could never have become our Kinsman-Redeemer, by becomming the only perfect, human substitute for the accumulated sin of all humanity.
Don't Be Aftaid, He Is Risen, are words that we should reflect upon in our heart by faith with thanksgiving, until we are flooded with the thrilling joy that must have been the experience of those faithful women.. 2000 years ago.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for too often taking for granted.. all that Christ's substitutionary death and glorious resurrection means to me. Thank You Lord for sending Your only begotten Son to die on the cross to pay the price for my sins and that He rose again so that I could receive His resurrected life. May I grow in grace and in a knowledge of my risen and glorified Saviour Jesus Christ - until His life is lived through me and I can say with the apostle Paul - it is not I that live, but Christ that lives in me. To You be all praise and glory for ever and ever, AMEN.