“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 28:5-6
What a morning! What a sight! That first Easter Sunday as the women went to see the tomb, to mourn and pay their respects. And when they got there everything had changed. The stone had been rolled away. The grave-clothes were empty. The power of death had been defeated!
We do not worship a dead king. We do not follow a great martyr. We worship the risen, resurrected Lord! He is not in the grave for Jesus has defeated the power of the grave. Sin has lost its grip on us. We know the end of the story. We know the chains of sin have been broken. The devil has been defeated. We know there is hope. We know earthly death is not the end.
By dying Jesus took our place, taking the punishment we deserve. By rising Jesus showed He had the authority to do that! Without the resurrection we would have no confidence that our sins had indeed been forgiven. We would not know that death had been defeated. But because of the resurrection we are filled with bold hope. Through the sin of Adam death came into the world, but through the resurrection of Jesus life came into the world. Now death has lost its victory. Death has lost its sting.
Because of the resurrection we have hope. Our faith is not in vain. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in us, giving us new life here and now. This is something that should change everything. John Blanchard put it like this “The resurrection of Jesus requires not our applause but our allegiance, not our compliments but our capitulation” – the resurrection is not something to be studied and appreciated as a head knowledge fact, but is something that require full heart surrender. We can’t be lukewarm. Our hope is not just that one day we will die and be resurrected and with Jesus – we have new life, resurrection life, now and are called to live fully surrendered to him now. And the reason why is because there are so many around us who do not yet have resurrection life. We must live to show them the love of God and show them the difference resurrection life can make in their life, to show them how much they need it.
After the angel told the women that most amazing of all good news, that He is risen, they were told to go and tell the disciples. That is the message of Easter – come and see that Jesus is risen, then go and tell of that great news to all the world.