The Empty Tomb

It was early in the morning on a Sunday. Mary and her companions came to the garden. They were not there to enjoy the garden's natural splendor. Their teacher and leader, the one they thought to be the promised Messiah, had been betrayed and crucified just three days before. The passover feast had been one of defeat rather than deliverance.

When they arrived, they found the stone rolled away, and Jesus' body gone. Two angels dressed in bright robes sat at the entrance. The women were amazed.

The angels spoke to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!" (Luke 24:5-6).

This was welcome news. Perhaps, news which they could not believe. Imagine coming to a tomb expecting to find a dead body. Instead, you find two angels who tell you the one you are seeking is risen!

The angels reminded the women of the words of Jesus. How He was to suffer, was to die and then to be raised from the dead. The memory of these words filled the women's hearts with gladness, and they rushed back into the city to tell the apostles.

The apostles did not believe the women. They thought the women were making up stories. Peter wanted to see it for himself. He ran to the tomb, and found the tomb empty, just as the women said. Peter left wondering what had happened. Perhaps, he asked himself, "Could it be true. Could He be risen?"

Why was the stone rolled away? To let Jesus out? After conquering death, did God's Son need angels to set Him free? The answer is in what the women and Peter saw -- the empty tomb. The stone was rolled away as proof for men.

Do you believe in your heart that Jesus lives? It is necessary for salvation: "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.

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