“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we cannot find him!”
Mary’s words didn’t make sense. Who could have moved him? Grave robbers? But there were Roman soldiers guarding the tomb. Could the Jewish leaders have taken the body for one last insult? Wasn’t it enough to see him crucified?
John stopped outside the tomb and looked in. It was as Mary had said–the body was gone, but the grave clothes remained. Peter ran up and stepped inside to investigate. The grave clothes lay on the cold stone, but the face cloth was folded up neatly to one side. They still didn’t understand. If the one who raised the dead was dead, what hope was there? And yet—what other explanation could there be?
The answer appeared before them as they huddled in a locked room. Jesus was alive. The grave couldn’t hold him and a barred door couldn’t keep him out. By his death he defeated death and rose in victory. As they gathered round the risen Savior they began to understand what they had believed: Jesus Christ is Lord.
They were never the same. The same men who had fled the cross stood before the Jewish council and vowed to obey God rather than men. We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard. Arrested, flogged, stoned–they kept preaching, kept teaching Jesus as the Anointed one, the Liberating King.
Easter was only the beginning. The apostles moved from doubt to faith, from mourning to mission, from fear to fire. Jesus had sent them out as he had been sent. The power of the Spirit of God flowed within them like living water. They were ambassadors of the kingdom, agents of the gospel, proclaiming that the kingdom of God was near. Silence wasn’t an option. Jesus was alive and that changed everything.
What would it change for us if we really believed that Jesus is alive? How would it change our worship and our evangelism? Our parenting and our priorities? Our budgets and our boundaries? What would be different if we didn’t just preach the gospel, but lived it? If we gathered together around the Living One who died and now lives forevermore?
Easter is only the beginning. It is the beginning of the fulfillment of a plan God laid before the foundation of the world. It is the beginning of the unfolding story of redemption, the beginning of God’s glory being displayed in a forgiven people, the beginning of our mission to announce to the world that the kingdom of God is near. Easter is not a day on the calendar but an attitude in our hearts: we serve a Risen Savior and we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.
Jesus is alive, and that changes everything. What does it change for you?
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