There seems to be an eerie silence sweeping over Jerusalem. I could imagine that it was one of the more quiet, somber weekends anyone could remember. Almost as if everyone knew a great injustice had been done. Like sin, which promises so much satisfaction and then leaves us feeling used and incomplete, the crucifixion of Jesus didn’t bring the satisfaction the people thought it would. In fact, I could imagine it almost felt…wrong. The leaders were glad to finally have this nuisance out of their way and had been planning their next strategic move. Maybe they were considering what to do about the disciples, or how to get the people back under their constant watch and control. Nobody stood in their way now. No one would be able to stand against them now that their biggest threat had been eliminated…or so they thought.
It’s been three days (it was the custom of the time to consider it a full day if an event happened during any part of the day) and the 75 lbs of burial cloths was lying heavily on Jesus’ body. Death began its finishing work, as the decomposing process would have been in full swing by now. His disciples, still hiding in fear, didn’t know what to do or what would become of them. They left everything to follow Him. Now their leaders’ body lay in a tomb, behind a boulder, and guarded by a Roman soldier. But as dawn began to break, something happened. Death began working in reverse. Sin’s power and effects were losing their grip. There was something new in the air, something fresh. Even the earth itself could sense it as a new dawn was about to break. Early in the morning on the third day, God the Father looked down on His Son, and in a most triumphant manner, commanded Him to arise! Suddenly, Jesus took a deep breath as life once again entered His lungs and He quickly removed the heavy burial cloths. He commanded the stone to get out of His way as two angels visited the soldier who was supposed to be guarding the tomb.
Can you imagine the look on the ladies’ faces as they approached the tomb only to find Jesus gone as an angel informed them that their Messiah had risen?! It was true! Everything He said was true! He really was the Messiah! Everything clicked for them in that moment as they rushed off to tell the disciples. Mourning was turned to dancing and sorrow to joy!
Jesus walked out of the tomb that day forever claiming victory over Satan, sin, and death. He fought them head on and He had won a decisive victory! Jesus lived a life we should have lived, died a death we should have died and rose again on the third day putting an exclamation point on the single most important act in all of history! Consider this: 1 Corinthians 15:17 says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” Without this day, there is no Christmas! Without this day, there is no Easter! Without this day, there is no LIFE! This is THE day in all of history, and if it didn’t happen, we would be better off to stop believing because our faith would be in vain. This is why we celebrate Easter!
For those who are in Christ, the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, “Death is swallowed up in victory. ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Thank You, Jesus, for taking the full blow of God’s wrath so that I might obtain what I could never achieve on my own. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!