Iíve walked by the caskets of more dead family members than I care to recall. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and a father. As I strolled by each coffer, I longed for their eyes to open and their voices to speak. In some cases, unfinished business lingered. I needed to speak to them. I longed to hear some of the old stories again. And this time I would pen them down somewhere. No matter how sincere my longing, none revived.
With Jesus, it was differentÖor so people claim. He isnít here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. (Matthew 28:6 NLT) On that first Easter morning, nothing was inside the tomb where Jesus was laid three days earlier except the clothes he wore.
Various reasons have been suggested to explain the empty tomb. Some say Jesus merely fainted on the cross and was later revived by the tombís coolness. Yet the guards failed to break his legs while he hung on the cross because they knew he was already dead. Others propose his disciples stole his body for fear of being embarrassed because he didnít do what he promised: rise from the dead. Still others say the guards confiscated his body. But why didnít they produce it and thereby prove him a delusional, lying lunatic?
Mary Magdalene was the first to see the resurrected Christ just outside the vacated grave. According to Paul, she wasnít the only one. He appeared to Peter, James, the twelve apostles, and to more than 500 peopleómost of whom were still alive when Paul wrote (I Corinthians 15:6). Luke says these appearances occurred over a period of 40 days before Jesusí ascension back into heaven (Acts 1:3).
My moneyís on Jesus. The evidence seems conclusive that he did what he purported he would. More importantly, his resurrection was Godís validation that my sins were paid for. He became my substitute. By faith, I appropriate his death and resurrectionís benefits: forgiveness and eternal life. Does the risen Jesus live in your heart?
Prayer: God and Father, thank You for the death and resurrection of Your Son for the forgiveness of our sins. www.lovelinesfromgod.com