“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So, she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid him” (John 20:1-2). It wouldn’t be long before Mary Magdalene found out what the rest of the world has known for 2000 years. The Roman soldiers hadn’t stolen Jesus’ dead body from his tomb, Jesus Christ had risen from the dead!
The resurrection of Christ ought to thrill your soul. But to many, just like Mary Magdalene, the reality and significance of Jesus rising from the dead is missed. When Mary first saw the empty tomb, her mind failed to grasp what her eyes registered. So, she formulated the best idea her own logic could supply concerning the missing corpse. But because her reasoning was not according to faith in God’s word, the true solution remained beyond her understanding. Today, we have a far better way to interpret Jesus’ empty tomb than Mary’s initial startled guess. The best way to really “see” Jesus risen from the dead is to read the apostle’s inspired testimony about it in the New Testament. When we exercise faith in their report the resurrection of Christ becomes clear. What do we see?
First, we see the resurrection as proof that Jesus’ sacrifice for sinners was accepted by God the Father. How can we really be certain that Jesus satisfied all the wrath of God for sinners who come to him by faith? How do we know that every sin will be forgiven to all those who trust in Christ? Because Jesus rose from the dead. If a person calls on Jesus to save them from sin he can and he will. And he rose to prove it. Second, we see the resurrection as proof that God has fixed a day to judge all mankind. Paul explained this truth to the Greeks in Athens. He commanded them to repent of their sin because the same Jesus who died and rose again from the dead would personally judge them if they did not. The fact that Jesus has risen proves that a day of judgment is coming. Third, we see that life without the historical reality of Jesus’ resurrection is pointless. It is pointless because there is no life after death. But since Jesus rose from the dead with a glorified body, we know that a life of glory in heaven awaits all who take up their cross and follow him.
You don’t need to see the empty tomb to live your life. Mary saw it and had no idea what it meant. Instead, you need to believe the apostle’s testimony and live your life to the honour of the One who died and is alive forevermore.
By Pastor Allen Beardmore