This coming Sunday is Resurrection Sunday. While many people refer to this day as Easter I prefer to call it by this name because even though Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, He lives. And, that is the message of this coming Sunday and every Resurrection Sunday. The reason we celebrate is because of the dynamic truth of His resurrection. Jesus Christ lives today. He is back from the tomb with complete and absolute victory over death.
Can you imagine how Peter and John felt on Saturday? I’m sure their hearts were broken and their hopes were annihilated. Their dreams were shattered. Surely they thought, “He’s dead, it’s over, everything we thought was going to happen won’t…” It must have been a very long day for them. One writer put it this way, “it is neither the dark Fridays nor the bright Sundays that require the greatest grace. The greatest grace is needed during the eternally long Saturdays of life when we are caught in the middle. It is where we seek to get through our grief, and get on with life. It is where our former vision of what life would be has failed and we are desperate for a new one . . .. Hope is never more needed than on Saturdays.”
Then came Sunday. . .
Luke 24:1–12 captures the wonderful story of the resurrection. Luke tells us that when the women came to the tomb, they looked, and the stone was not there. It wasn’t in front of the grave. One ancient manuscript says that the stone was so big it would have taken twenty men to push it up the groove—a stone that big would have weighed between one and a half and two tons.
The words that are used by Mark and Luke to describe the position of the stone tell us that that this was the first miracle of Easter. Next, they discovered that the sepulcher was empty. Some people don’t understand that the stone was not rolled away so Jesus could get out. Jesus could have come out without the stone being moved. The stone was rolled away so that they people could see in!
Luke 24:3 says, “Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” The tomb was empty. This is radically important—The Gospel of Christ rest squarely on this very point. Jesus wasn’t there and nobody, not the religious leaders, or the Romans could prove it. His body was gone.
All the famous tombs in the world from Westminster Abbey in London to the Tomb of St. Thomas in India to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington are famous for the bodies that they contain. The tomb of Jesus is famous for what it does not contain. It was empty on that first Resurrection Sunday, and it is still empty today. Its emptiness is a constant reminder of the angels’ first message to the women: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen!”
How did the disciples react? Luke 24:12 tells us, “Peter arose and ran to the tomb.” After that awful Saturday came Resurrection Sunday and Peter ran to the empty tomb! John ran as well (John 20:4). They ran to experience the Good News.
What about you? Can you feel in your heart the miracle of the Resurrection and know that Christ died and rose again for you? Are you ready, like John and Peter to run to the empty tomb? Are you ready to commit your life to the risen Savior and let Him heal and restore you?
He had power over death and that same power can help you today. Run; don’t walk to or ignore the empty tomb. Your eternal life depends on it.