Written by Peter
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. 2 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. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 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.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
What if Jesus did not rise from the dead? What if Good Friday was the end of the story? No resurrection! Have you thought about that?
Within evangelical christianity we often focus on the cross, and rightly so. But we often do so in a way that sidelines the resurrection, and yet His death is only half the story. Paul in 1 Corinthians even says, “if Christ has not be raised then… your faith is in vain…you are still in your sins” (1 Cor 15:14,17). The resurrection is not just the cherry on top of the Good Friday Cake. It is foundational to our salvation. It is not just the happy ending to a nice story. It is the epicentre to all of human history.
Because Jesus rose from the grave we know for certain His death successfully atoned for our sins. Because Jesus rose from the grave, death is now defeated.
Jesus is alive! Our faith is not in vain, we are no longer still in our sins and the greatest enemy, death, has been defeated.
Many religions around the world revere some kind of messiah figure or significant religious leader. Buddhist revere Buddha, Muslims Mohammed. Historians may look back and point to significant historical people who accomplished great things. Alexander the Great, Julies Caesar, more recently Gandhi and Martin Luther King. These are people who achieved something special, but they are all dead. Jesus on the other hand is alive. We don’t just worship a saviour, we worship a LIVING saviour, one who conquered death, who died but rose from the grave.
The resurrection of Christ also reminds us that the grave is not our final resting place. Death will come to all of us but it will merely be the blank page you sometimes find between the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. For those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, our resting place will be to enjoy the presence of God in our new resurrected bodies for all of eternity.