But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.
The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened. (Luke 24:1-8)
As we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ this Easter it is awesome and a little overwhelming to attempt to put ourselves into the shoes of the women who visited the tomb that morning.
The expectation of these women was to embalm the crucified, three-day dead body of the Lord Jesus Christ. They had come to honor their Rabbi. They had come possibly to say goodbye one last time. Each of them had a different relationship with Jesus. They had followed Him and even worshipped Him. Their lives had been changed profoundly by not only what He taught and the miracles He performed but by Him; they had come to know the Lord.
Instead of being greeted by the solemn somberness of a tomb they were greeted by angelic messengers whose clothes reflected the glory of the Lord and whose message proclaimed His resurrection from the dead.
Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” (Luke 24:5-7)
This is the message of Christ. He is not dead but He is alive and because He is alive we can live too. He died in our place, suffered the punishment our sins demanded and then rose from the dead in victory.
1. The penalty for sin is death so Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), died in our place on the cross.
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
2. The power of sin was that is resulted in death, Jesus destroyed the power of death through His resurrection.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)
3. We receive the gift of God’s salvation through faith in Jesus Christ; the Son of God who died upon the cross for our sins and He who resurrected in victory.
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (Romans 3:22)
“He is not here”, the angels said, “He is risen from the dead!” This is the good news of the gospel. Our enemies have been defeated. Our penalties have been paid and God offers forgiveness, redemption and adoption to all those who will believe.
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!
Charles Wesley 1739