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The Pastor's Blog

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Dead! Gone! The stone lay heavy against the tomb.

And the apostles suffered in silence. What would they do? Where would they go? Who would they follow? They were alone. Jesus lay cold in the ground.

Joseph, a wealthy follower, had sealed the Rabbi’s body in his own new tomb just before sundown on Friday evening. Sabbath laws disallowed any further ministry to His body, so “when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they could go and anoint him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb at sunrise” (Mark 16:1–2).

Jesus had come into the world through a virgin womb. He was leaving though a virgin tomb. His birth had been announced with a bright star and a multitude of rejoicing angels. When He exhaled His final breath, there was only darkness.

As the ladies approached the garden tomb, they spoke quietly “saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?’ Looking up, they noticed that the stone—which was very large—had been rolled away”(Mark 16:3–4).

Grave robbers? No. “An angel of the Lord … had rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken by fear of him that they became like dead men” (Matthew 28:2-4). The guards, Roman soldiers, well-armed and well-trained, had fainted in fear of Heaven’s mighty warrior!

The faith-filled “women were terrified and bowed down to the ground. ‘Why are you looking for the living among the dead?’ asked the (angel). ‘He is not here, but he has risen!’ ” (Luke 24:5-6). “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said” (Luke 24:5-6).

Indeed, He’d taught them plainly and clearly. Days ago, just before Palm Sunday, “they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were astonished, but those who followed him were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them the things that would happen to him. ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Gentiles, and they will mock him, spit on him, flog him, and kill him, and he will rise after three days’ ” (Mark 10:32–34).

They had mocked Him, spit on Him, beaten Him, stripped Him, crucified Him, killed Him. He had died and His lifeless body had been entombed. Now, it was the third day. It was Easter Sunday!

Death didn’t own Him. The grave couldn’t hold Him.

He lives.


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