He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. – Matthew 28:6
Together, we have journeyed this weekend through the most significant event since the creation of the world. It is the event which ultimately separates Jesus from any other man on earth. It is the event that fulfilled hundreds of years of prophecy. It is the event of hope that a lost human race has been waiting and yearning for since the very moment sin entered into this world.
I began this journey at the foot of the cross – it was there that a holy love was so thoroughly and deeply given. It was there that Love suffered and died. It was there that a love zealous enough for me, took on the full weight of all my regrets, all my undoings, all my worry, all my struggles, all my sadness…all my sin.
I journeyed through a place of mourning and grief. There, while surveying Jesus on the cross, I had felt a redeeming love and then was crushed in that final moment by the proclamation of “It is finished”. I wandered through moments of grief, confusion, and, perhaps, of doubt. But, in the darkness of those moments, as Jesus laid buried in a tomb, I was reminded of His promise. A little flicker of hope was stirring in my soul.
I now journey down a road – it is the road that leads to the tomb of my Lord. I walk this road with a heavy heart for it is leading me to the place where Love is buried.
But wait. Can it be? The tomb, it is empty.
And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:2-10)
He is not here, for He has risen.
No other words have permeated my entire being such as these. These words, they change everything. Death, it could not hold Jesus in the grave. The battle over sin and death has been won, soundly. His death and resurrection is now a living hope. Through the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection we can be made new.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
My soul has found peace and rest. My sin and shame, I gave to Him as my Rescuer suffering and dying on a cross. It was only there that they could be wiped away, forgiven…redeemed. My heart and soul, I give to Him now as the risen King.
Friends, the Good News this Easter, is this: Jesus died for you, defeated sin and death for you, and He rose from the grave to live forever so that you may also live forever with Him. He wants to be your redeemer, your friend, your hope, and your deliverance.
He is waiting for you. The foot of the cross is there for you to place all your sin and shame. The empty tomb is where our resurrection song begins. He is there to make you new and wants to live with you, forever. All you have to do is call on His name — He loves you and wants to call you His own.
He is alive!