“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Matthew 28:6 NKJV
He is not there!
I, like the rest of the believing world, weathered another long, dark Holy Saturday, awaiting the coming of the morning. For us it is anticipatory, for we know that the Lord rose again on the third day, that the tomb is empty, and that Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father.
As I prepared the daily meme for the church, I happened on the Scripture of the day, and suddenly my heart was transported to that early Sunday morning, so many years ago. My heart filled with great joy, as the freshness of my salvation filled me. It was as if I myself was standing at the open tomb.
He is not there!
Never have such words so gladdened my heart! I began to proclaim loudly, He is not there! In the darkness of the times we are living in, this is the best news. The greatest news of all!
Our Savior went to the cross, died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. In the quiet of my living room, I sat rejoicing that my sins have been redeemed, that I am forgiven, that through the resurrection, I can have new life.
“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came 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 from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Matthew 28:1-6 NKJV
Because of Jesus, all humanity can be forgiven of its sins and reconciled to God. He paid for the sins of the whole world on the cross, and He rose from the grave. Because of Him, we can be made new, whole and go forward with a new life.
“And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.””
Matthew 28:9-10 NKJV
He is not longer in the tomb, He is not there. But, thanks be to God He left the tomb and has entered the hearts of all those who believe. As He has been raised from the dead, we too can be raised through faith in Jesus. He gave the Helper, the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus promised. Because of that presence, we can go forth with the same passion that the saints did that first Resurrection Sunday morning.
The world in which we live has a terminus, a time when it, as we now know it, will end. There is coming a new world, one governed by the Lord Jesus. Those of us who have come to know Jesus, have experienced the formation of a new life, as the old has passed away, and new has begun.
Planets have collided in us, as the old bound to sin, is being destroyed, making room for the new.
Where we were once governed by sin and death, we now are governed by Jesus and have been made joint heirs to an eternal Kingdom. Like the women at the tomb that morning so long ago, we rejoice that the Lord Jesus is not there, that He is alive and interceding on our behalf.
Brothers and sisters, let us glorify the Lord, rejoicing that He left the tomb, that He is in Heaven. Let us rejoice in the fact that we will be with Him. Let us rejoice in more loudly, that as He was not there on Resurrection Sunday, He will be here one day soon.
May this day be the mark on with which stand as we begin this race of faith. The Lord has laid it on the hearts of many that THIS THE DAY! That we must be about the great commission like never before. We who are the born again, have been given a message to take to this fallen world. Let us take the joy of this day, and go into the world to take the Gospel.
“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
Matthew 28:16-20 NKJV
Even though they had the risen Lord in their midst, there were some who doubted. I am sure there are some of us who have doubts too, but know this: as one who has been increasingly reliant on the Lord for each day of life, I know that He is faithful!
My people, He is not in the tomb, He is risen!
HE IS RISEN INDEED!