The Empty Tomb

In one of his lighter moments, Benjamin Franklin penned his own epitaph for his tombstone. He didn’t profess to be a born-again Christian, but it seems he must have been influenced by the Bible’s teaching of the resurrection of the body. Here’s what he wrote: “The Body of Be … More

Resurrection

On Sunday about dawn, a group of women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome, Joanna, and others went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body (v. 1). As they approached, an earthquake occurred, and an angel rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb (v. 2). The stone was not rolled away so Jesus could come out (for He already left the tomb) but so that the people could see that the tomb was empty. Jesus did exactly what He had repeatedly said He would do. This is God’s way, always. We can count on His promises and build our lives on them, for He always does just what He says. These believers went through three basic stages of experience:

1. They thought He was dead (v. 1). It wasn’t because Jesus had not taught them on many occasions that He would rise from the dead (Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 26:32;). It is just that they failed to believe Him. The world believes that Jesus died, but the world does not believe that He rose from the dead.

2. They heard that He was alive (v. 2_8). One of the angels spoke to the women and calmed their fears telling them Jesus had risen. The empty tomb was proof that He had risen. If He had not risen He would have been a deceiver and unworthy of further devotion.

3. They met the living Christ personally (v. 9_10). As the women were on their way to tell the disciples what had happened, suddenly Jesus met them. He repeated the same message the angel had previously given to not be afraid. He also told them to tell the disciples that He would appear to them in Galilee.

 

Application

“Come and see” was followed by “Go and tell!"  Just as the angel sent the women to tell, I must not keep the Resurrection news to myself. Who can I share the Gospel with this week?

Matthew 28:1-10 (English Standard Version)

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you." So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »