Just as the third day was dawning, the two Marys were approaching Jesus’ grave, bringing burial spices as a last act of devotion to the One Who had meant so much to them in life.
Suddenly, there was a huge earthquake! God’s Angel came down from Heaven, rolled the stone from the entrance of the grave, and sat down on it. His face shone like lightning, his robes were white as snow. And the terrified guards trembled violently until they fell into a dead faint.
The angel turned to speak to the women. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen from the dead, exactly as He said would happen. Come, see where His body was lying. And now, go quickly to tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and will go ahead of you to Galilee. There, you will see Him! And remember what I have told you.”
The giant stone had been moved from the mouth of the grave, not to let the risen Lord Jesus out, but to call attention to the fact that He was no longer within!
In his great discourse on resurrection, in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul points out that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the great cornerstone of our faith. Were it not for His resurrection, our faith would be useless, we would still be guilty, all believers who have gone on before would be lost, and we who hope in Christ would be more to be pitied than anyone else in the world.
But Christ has been raised from the dead! He is, Paul says, the first fruits of a great harvest of those who have died.
Because Jesus rose from the dead, He is alive today, and forevermore. Because He is alive, we who have been forgiven have Someone to thank, Someone to love, Someone to live for. And because He shares this risen life with us, we will never stop thanking Him, loving Him, and living for Him– throughout all eternity! To Him be Glory Forever!