“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.'” (Matthew 28:1-6 NIV84)
I told you in my last devotion that it wouldn’t help to have guards outside the tomb! If they wanted to try to prevent the resurrection, they would have had to be in the inside of the tomb. On this Easter morning, over 2,000 years ago, life moved in the opposite direction. It went from death to life. I marvel at people who think that it was impossible for God to roll back the water of the Red Sea, or cause water to come from a rock, or create the universe in 6 days; but they don’t see that what happened on this Easter Sunday as the same impossible thing — yet even more miraculous. Dead things do not regenerate! Or, do they?
The angels proclaimed to the women who came to the tomb to embalm Jesus’ body, “He is not here. He is risen, JUST AS HE SAID.” This should be no surprise! Jesus repeatedly told them about what was going to happen on Good Friday and Easter morning. But now they get to see how certain the words of Jesus are. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead was the boldest way He could proclaim that He had truly taken away all humanity’s sins and their consequences. Jesus became sin (I Corinthians 5:21) — all sin — so he had to face the death and eternal punishment that sin brought about. His resurrection proves that He drank the cup of God’s wrath completely. Now sin and death have been conquered. From the cross Jesus spoke the word “Tetelestai” (It is finished!). The resurrection is the stamp/seal from God that it truly is finished. No more needs to be done but to believe in Him whom God has sent. Jesus says in John 5:24, “Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life; he no longer comes under condemnation but passes out of death into LIFE.” May this this be your and my hope today!
Please click on this link to hear a Donnelly Easter tradition.