Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
The greatest day has arrived! The day that we remember the hope we have laid up for us in heaven! The resurrection of the body – life after life after death! What an amazing thought!
I can’t even imagine what the women felt as they approached the tomb that morning. The dread, the forbidding, the thought that they would have to embalm the body of the one that they had called ‘Lord’. He was dead now, though, and what did that mean for them? What were they to do? How were they to carry on with life after this? He had made some amazing claims – “Before Abraham was, I Am.” and promised some extraordinary things – “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” But just the day before yesterday they had watched Him hang on a cross, they had seen the nails driven through His hands and feet, they had seen Him pierced, heard the cry “It is finished”, watched Him die. They had seen Him taken down, wrapped in the grave clothes and placed in the tomb of Joseph, seen the stone rolled, and the guard set.
Now they were wondering, as they approached the tomb carrying their spices and oils, how they were going to get in. How would they roll the stone away to be able to perform this last service for Jesus? Would the guards help them? Though, Roman soldiers were not known for their courtesy and helpfulness. It was the question that was on their minds as they made their way through the early dawn towards the tomb. The air was crisp and cool, and it would have been the promise of a wonderful day in most other circumstances, yet today their hearts were heavy with grief at the task at hand. They did not talk much as they moved through the garden towards the tomb, their minds occupied with the problem they had to solve.
Then, as they were almost within site of the tomb, they heard it.
A massive CRACK!
The ground shook violently, and the stone was rolled away! There appeared to be a person sitting on the stone, but this was like no person they had ever seen before! The closes that you could describe him was that he looked like lightning. He was bright, that was for sure, he shone with some other-worldly aura that seemed to radiate brighter than the sunlight that had now begun to stream through the early morning dawn. They could hardly look at him, and it didn’t help that his clothes were brilliant white, like snow shining in the midday sun. He had a strange effect on the guards who, when they saw him sitting there, just casually, they shook violently and simply collapsed. They may have been dead, they certainly looked it, but no, they were breathing, so just really afraid. Then the being – it must have been an angel, for no person could look like that! It turned to the women who had come to anoint the body of Jesus, and then it spoke to them! It’s voice was wonderful, powerful, and terrifying all at the same time, but what it said was wonderful:
“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.”
How could this be true? They hesitated, not sure what to believe, not sure if it was real, waiting. Was the angel going to say something else? Then, as a group, their uncertainty gone, they rushed forward and into the tomb, and saw…
Well, no body anyway. The grave clothes were still there, but the body of Jesus was not! Could it be that the angel had told them the truth? Jesus has risen! He is alive! And He is going to Galilee! They could hardly contain themselves as they rushed back out and into a brand new day, indeed a brand new age!
They had to tell the others about this wonderful Good News!