He is risen!
Jesus Christ, he who died on the cross… HE LIVES!!!
The tomb is empty.
The stone rolled away.
Jesus Christ is ALIVE!
Death could not defeat him.
The tomb could not hold him.
And now our Saviour, the Son of God lives!
This is an incredible day. A day that forever changed the lives of people all over the world.
A day that changed the lives of the women who came to the tomb that morning.
A day that changed the lives of the disciples.
A day that changed the world as millions of people for thousands of years have come to know God in an entirely new way.
Gone are the days of making sacrifices, because God made the ultimate sacrifice himself in His Son on the cross.
Gone are the days of leaving faith to the professionals. All of us are now able to have a close, personal relationship with our Father in heaven.
All because the tomb is empty.
“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.’”
In the Gospel of Matthew the women have come to see the tomb. We aren’t told if they are carrying spices like in the other gospels. We are told they have come to see. Are they there to watch, or are they there to seek an understanding?
These women have followed and provided for Jesus for a long time. They have seen his miracles, they have heard his teachings, and they would have heard him say he would return in 3 days.
Is this why they are here?
And when the ground shakes and the angels appear, they do not faint like the guards do. They stay awake and hear the words of the angel. They see inside the tomb and how it is empty. The meet the risen Christ as they begin their journey back to share with the disciples.
And they are given a message.
“Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me,” Jesus says to them.
The women become the first to share the Good News that Jesus Christ has risen from the grave and that he is alive!
If this event never happened. If the tomb was not empty. Why would we be here?
We are here because of Jesus Christ. We are here because Jesus Christ left the tomb and walked away from death and sin. We are here because death could not hold him back. We are here because. He. Lives!
As I shared at the Good Friday service, in the cross God made all things right with us. Jesus died as an atoning sacrifice for our sin, and in faith we are made right with God.
And on Easter morning, with the empty tomb, Jesus fulfills the promise that he will be with us always.
He met the women on the road.
He meets us in our lives as well.
He offers us a new way. A way of life. A way of truth.
In John 14, Jesus tells his disciples, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
There is no other way. Jesus gave his life for the world as the only way to make things right with God so that those who believe may have eternal life.
A life with God.
This is what we celebrate this morning.
Christ is risen so that we too may rise with him in glory!
We owe it all to him for he gave out of an immense love for us.
Thanks be to God.