This week, we have enjoyed the stories of Easter. We remembered how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a small donkey. We observed the Lord’s Supper that Jesus shared with His disciples. We remembered how Isaiah predicted how Jesus would die and why. And, of course, we cannot forget the torturing Jesus bore and how He died on the cross.
Now, comes the good news of Easter! Let’s go to the tomb on Sunday morning….
John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
What would it have been like to see Jesus die on a cross and then experience what Mary and the disciples saw on Easter Sunday morning? How would we have felt? It says here that the things the three noticed were an empty tomb and the neatly folded linen cloths. Jesus had not only departed, but He left the tomb in order, with perfect evidence remaining. I’m most impressed at what Jesus allowed to happen (His death on a cross) and then what Jesus made happen (a huge stone rolled away and His rise from the dead and departure from the tomb). When He wanted to, Jesus exercised His power – His power over physical things (which, by the way, He created) and His power over death.
Mary Magdalene, Peter and John were frightened, perplexed and excited all at once. Mary, however, then saw Jesus. And Jesus later appeared to most of the disciples. Except Thomas. And when Jesus later appeared to Thomas, he then believed.
If you look down at the end of this chapter, the Resurrection is summarized by this good news that is for you and me.
John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Because Christ rose from the dead and sits at God’s right hand, we who believe on Him, accept Him as our Savior, repent of our sins and receive salvation….yes, we are indeed blessed. We have eternal life!
That, my friend, is what Easter is all about.
*Devotional message written by Jim Huber. Have a Happy Easter!