"He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.Matthew 28:6(NASB)
It is a fact of history that Christ is risen from the dead. The four gospel writers each gave eyewitness accounts of the resurrection. They did not outline great theological arguments or seek to justify what they were saying with persuasive words. They simply reported facts that were observed by the various people who were there.
The pivotal Person in Scriptures is Christ and the crucial fact of Scripture is His resurrection from the dead. The gospel of God stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Christian faith is the only one that claims their Founder is risen from the dead and alive for evermore. Every other religion and all their founding fathers.. or mothers are dead, and remain buried in their graves.. and their flesh is rotting away. Only Christians can rejoice that Jesus is alive for evermore. He IS risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
The birth of Christianity is a well-documented historical fact that is grounded in Holy Scripture. Its members believe in the historical cross of Christ, and have placed their faith in the sacrifice that He made on that cross, which saves people from their sins. There were literal blood stains on the wooden cross upon which our Saviour hung.
The cross of Christ was erected on a little hill called Calvary. John reported that "they took Jesus away and He went out of the city, carrying the cross by Himself to a place called, "The Place of the Skull," which is also called "Golgotha" in the Hebrew language and "Calvary" in Latin - and it was outside the city gates of Jerusalem" as prophesied of old.
When the women came, early in the morning to anoint the body of Christ they found that the stone was rolled away. The stone was not rolled away to let Christ come out. It was rolled back by the two men in white, to allow the world to enter, and to see the empty tomb, and to wonder at the precious truth that: "Christ is risen from the dead".
The devoted women need not have wondered how they were to remove the heavy stone, that first Easter morning, for they were greeted with the joyful resurrection news: "He is not here! He has risen, just as He said He would. Come and see the place where He lay". The angel calmed the women's fear and proceeded to tell them the good news.. reminding them that Jesus had already said He would rise from the dead on the third day.
The empty grave-clothes, encrusted with a large quantity of embalming myrrh and aloes, gave witness to His glorious resurrection. These faithful and devoted women who had sped eagerly to the tomb that resurrection morning, were encouraged to "come" and "see" the place He had lain, before being told to "go" and "tell" the other disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead and would meet with them in Galilee in the near future - just as He has already told them!
What a ripple of joy and wonder, reverence and anticipation must have flooded the hearts of each of those faithful women, who loved their Lord so deeply. Their long night of weeping and pain turned into a beautiful morning of joy and rejoicing. The sadness of these heart-sick women was translated into wonder and praise when they realised that Jesus was not there but risen from the dead.
There was a literal tomb where the body was placed, and there was an empty grave where Christ once laid. But now He is risen, ascended and glorified... and He has the power to save to the uttermost, all who come to Him in faith. Resurrection means to rise from the dead, never again to die. Death has no more dominion over Christ, and He had become the firstborn from the dead, paving the way for the bodily resurrection and everlasting life for all who believe in Him by grace through faith.
It is His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection in which we place our faith, and those who have trusted Christ as Saviour, have been given the indwelling Holy Spirit as God's guarantee that they will also receive a resurrection body. Let us have this confidence in Christ today, for His resurrection identified Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God.
The resurrection verified the truth of Scripture and guarantees our own future resurrection. It gives power to our Christian life in this world and guarantees our future inheritance with Christ in heaven, to Whom be all praise and glory, through time and into eternity.
Dear Father God, thank You for seeing past the evil of death, and bringing about Christ’s resurrection. Thank You that we no longer need to fear death and hell and thank You for placing us in Christ. Show us more of Him we pray, and may we participate in the fellowship of His sufferings and the power of His resurrection. May there be less of me and more of Him today, and may Christ shine through my life, as I go out into the world and tell of the wonders of His grace – in Jesus' name. AMEN.