“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
The explanation for the surprising
vacancy at Jesus’ grave site is found in these three words (see Luke 24:6). The
women who had come to tend to Jesus’ body two days after it was laid in a cave
were distraught to find the tomb empty. Angelic messengers assured the women
that Jesus was no longer in the tomb. No one had stolen Jesus’ corpse; in fact,
there was no corpse.
Jesus was alive.
Easter Sunday is announced with
the words “He has risen!” The darkness of Good Friday is lifted. Sadness and
grief are abated. The power of death is broken.
“He has risen!”
Christianity rests upon these
three words. According to Scripture, two enemies stood between God and his
creation: sin and death. Jesus defeated sin by living a blameless life before
God and offering himself as a sacrifice to pay for sin.
He defeated death by giving up his
life on the cross, going into the grave as a corpse, and emerging two days
later as a living, breathing Savior—a bridge between God and humanity.
The apostle Paul emphasizes the
importance of Jesus’ resurrection in stark terms:
If Christ has not been
raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. . . . And if Christ has
not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those
also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have
hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:14,
The good news—the best news of
all, in fact—is that the events of Easter render such dire possibilities moot.
Jesus has been raised from the dead. And as another New Testament writer
observed, Jesus’ resurrection makes possible the resurrection of everyone who
Praise be to the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new
birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This
inheritance is kept in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:3–4)
This blog post has been adapted from Walking with Jesus, a special-edition magazine that is now available on store shelves.