He Has Risen!

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “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 into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'” Then they remembered his words. (Luke 24:1-8)

The faithful female followers of Jesus were the first to find the empty tomb. Showing their supreme love for the Lord, their desire was to demonstrate their commitment to Jesus by bringing expensive spices to the tomb that they had prepared for His burial. Oh that all of our passions and desires would always lead us to Jesus! There is a difference between simply knowing Jesus as a person and passionately loving Him as our Lord. When we are inspired with love and delighted by His presence, it is not a compulsion but a pleasure to walk with Him. Just as a child who adores their father’s company, our delight in Him should be prompted by joy.

“Beyond all measure it is desirable that we, as believers, should have the person of Jesus constantly before us, to inflame our love towards Him, and to increase our knowledge of Him …

“Lord, You are my lover, my longing, my flowing stream, my sun, and I am Your reflection.” -Mechthilde of Magdeburg
But to have Jesus ever near, the heart must be full of Him, welling up with His love, even to overrunning; hence the apostle prays ‘that Christ may dwell in your hearts’. ‘That He may dwell’; not that He may call upon you sometimes, as a casual visitor enters into a house and tarries for a night, but that He may dwell; that Jesus may become the Lord and Tenant of your inmost being, never more to go out … We should pant after love to Christ of a most abiding character, not a love that flames up and then dies out into the darkness of a few embers, but a constant flame, fed by a sacred fuel,
like the fire upon the altar which never went out. This cannot be accomplished
except by faith. Faith must be strong, or love will not be fervent; the root of the flower
must be healthy, or we cannot expect the bloom to be sweet …If love be cold,
you can be sure that faith is drooping.”
(C.H. Spurgeon)

Very early in the morning, approaching with their spices, these dear women discover … an empty tomb! Where could the body have gone? Who had moved away the heavy stone? What had happened? They had been eye witnesses to the crucifixion and to the burial preparation. So certain were they that He was dead that they had gone to extravagant measures to prepare a proper burial. John tells us their reaction to this scene:

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” (John 20:1-2)

“God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died, to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives! How sweet to hold a new-born baby, And feel the pride, and joy he gives; But greater still the calm assurance, This child can face uncertain days because He lives. And then one day I’ll cross that river, I’ll fight life’s final war with pain; And then as death gives way to victory, I’ll see the light of glory and I’ll know He reigns. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!”
-Gloria and William Gaither

When they arrived at the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away, this was, of course, a great wonder to them! But the angels remind them of Jesus’ words to them that He would be delivered into the hands of sinful men, crucified, and raised again!

Take It to Heart

“All the powers of death and darkness are under the control of the God of light and life. An angel from heaven has power to break the seal, though it was the great seal of Israel, and is able to roll back the stone, though ever so great. The angel’s sitting on the stone, when he had rolled it back, is very observable. There he sat, defying all the powers of hell to roll the stone to the grave again. The angel sat as a guard to the grave, having frightened away the enemies’ black guard; he sat, expecting the women, and ready to give them an account of His resurrection.” (Matthew Henry)

“To know a crucified Savior as having crucified all my sins, is a high degree of knowledge; but to know a risen Savior as having justified me, and to realize that He has bestowed upon me new life, having given me to be a new creature through His own newness of life, this is a noble style of experience: short of it, none ought to rest satisfied. May you both ‘know Him, and the power of His resurrection’. Why should souls who are quickened with Jesus, wear the grave-clothes of worldliness and unbelief? Rise, for the Lord is risen.” (C.H. Spurgeon)