Text: St Mark 16:6 “But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him”
Many centuries ago, we read in scripture that the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ took place, as a once-for-all act of God in history. The message had gone out that Jesus was dead; the Jesus problem was solved as far as the religious authorities were concerned. Now that Jesus’ body was safely laid in Joseph’s tomb, the Passover celebrations could go on; Sabbath would be observed. Jesus would no longer bother the religious leaders.
That was the message the world received then when the lightening flashed, the wind blew and according to the gospel, the veil of the temple was torn in two. But on the third day, the sun illuminated the world, and its light brought life that many had not anticipated, a light that could not be put out, a life that could no longer be put to death: Jesus was raised from the dead! The lifeless body of our Savior, refused to remain dead, death could no longer keep him captive.
We stand today on Resurrection Sunday before the open door of the tomb. The resurrection reminds us of that open door to life. The apparent defeat of the cross was turned to victory in the resurrection. By his resurrection we have the same promise. It is life that we celebrate on Resurrection Sunday.
Through the resurrection we have an Assurance of Life
We often approach the resurrection as though we think the first followers of Jesus expected it. They did not. Jesus had tried to prepare them by predicting both his death and resurrection, yet they were still surprised. Furthermore, they were frightened and confused by the unexpected turn of events. They hardly knew what to make of the empty tomb. Therefore Jesus’ first words to them were, “Do not be afraid”
To us also today, Jesus says “Do not be afraid” In other words; death could not defeat him, and therefore those of us who believe in Christ, will not be defeated by death either. What a wonderful assurance this is!
Through the Resurrection we have an Announcement of Life
Not only do we have an assurance of life, through the Resurrection, but we also have an Announcement of Life. Where did this announcement take place? According to the text above, it was in a cemetery. How amazing is this that in a place associated with death and lifelessness, the word of life comes forth: “He is risen! He is not here.” Here is the best part of the Easter story: the disciples heard that the Savior, crucified three days before, is no longer dead, but is very much alive. Easter is about life. At Easter, trees that were considered dead, suddenly start blooming again, flowers are symbols of new life in the Spring. New clothes are symbols of life in people. Yet the most significant symbol of Easter is the open tomb, for it announces that Jesus is risen.
Through the Resurrection we have the Affirmation of Life
There in the text is the statement of affirmation. To affirm his statement, the angel said, “See where they laid him” They could examine the place. It was apparent that there was now an empty spot where Jesus was laid. Then there is the instruction the angel gave to them. The angel said as Jesus said to go tell the disciples and Peter to meet him in Galilee. Friends, the greatest affirmation we have is the continuing presence of Christ in our lives. He lives within my heart. How about you?
It looked like certain death when Jesus was crucified, but he rose from the grave, triumphant and victorious. This means that Jesus can win victories for you and me. Whatever is the issue, whatever is difficulty, he will prevail for you. You need not fear. You need not worry. Take you cares to him for he cares for you. Have a blessed, holy and peaceful Easter.
Your pastor and friend
Edward L Jenkins, Snr.