Have you ever pictured in your mind the morning of Jesus’ resurrection?
Picture it with me, if you will.
We see Mary, Jesus’ mother, Mary Magdalene, Joanna and other unnamed women walking toward the tomb where Jesus had been laid to rest three days earlier. The women are dismayed because they earlier witnessed the brutal crucifixion of Jesus and are unaware that He has already conquered death and arisen. While they had heard Jesus foretell of his sacrificial death and resurrection (Luke 9:22), they did not know the actuality of that claim.
And so they approach the stone, carrying spices and oils that are used to lessen the odor of decaying bodies. But as they arrive at the site, they discover the giant stone at the tomb has been rolled away. Imagine their astonishment as they cautiously creep into the tomb and observe that it is empty.
And as they are standing there “perplexed,” as Luke describes their demeanor, they are met with another astonishing sight: two angels adorned in shining garments. The women drop to their knees; it is almost too much to bear. But then the angels proclaim to them the message of the ages: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!”
It is then that they remember Jesus’ promise that He will arise from the tomb three days after His crucifixion. Their hearts burst with excitement as they realize that His promise was not a hollow claim. They now understand that Jesus truly is the Son of God. The women rush to the 11 Disciples to tell them what they have discovered: Jesus is alive!
But the Disciples greet their words with doubt, believing them to be “idle tales” (Luke 24:11). And then we see Peter. Ever tempestuous and unpredictable, Peter must see the tomb himself. He bursts from the room, racing to the tomb where he finds only the linen cloths that wrapped Jesus’ body.
What a scene, my friends. This was not a figurative resurrection, as some have recently suggested. He literally arose – bodily – from the grave. Later, Jesus appeared to the Disciples and invited them to touch the wounds of the crucifixion in His hands and feet. “Handle Me and see,” he said, “for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
This is the Easter story; but it’s not the end of the story. You see, Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are the fulfillment of only two parts of God’s plan. The third part is yet to come. That part will be fulfilled when He returns and raptures unto Himself those living and dead who believe in Him.
And so that brings every person to a crossroads. Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior? The great writer C.S. Lewis wrote: “You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. … You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God.”
I would like to encourage readers who do not know Jesus as Savior to visit the Thomas Road Baptist Church website to learn more about Him. Under “New to TRBC” click “Who is Jesus?” to understand who He is and how He wants everyone to follow Him.
Easter announcement: Thomas Road Baptist Church will celebrate the risen Christ in two great 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Easter “Sonrise” services. In addition, “The Feeding of the 5000” will take place at 6 p.m., completing a wonderful day for our TRBC congregation. I invite all readers to join us.
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