Christ 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 sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.” – Luke 24:1-10
Last Sunday we celebrated the most holy day in the Christian church calendar, Easter Sunday. It is the day on which Christ, our Lord and Savior, came back from the dead, the resurrection. He lives.
Yes, the tomb is empty. It is empty not because of vandals and grave robbers who desecrate graves; not because government officials want to use the grave for something else, it is empty because Jesus Christ our Savior, who came and died, had the power to take up his life again.
He had the power to conquer death. He had the power to restore the kingdom to us. He had the love, the care and concern for us poor miserable sinners. Christ has risen! Christ has risen – the tomb is empty.
Even though we know that today, when the women went to the tomb to anoint the dead body of our Lord on the first day of the week, they did not know that. They had to be told by angels who asked, “Why look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
The angels gave them three bits of instructions. Remember! Return to the world. Retell what you have witnessed.
Those women were awestruck. They were perplexed, and downright afraid. However, when they left the tomb, they did remember. They did return to the world and they did tell of their experience,
Notwithstanding who they were, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, women of integrity, the disciples did not believe them. The 11 apostles whom Jesus had personally selected, did not believe the women, nor did they remember.
Prior to his death, while he was still with them in Galilee, he had told them, “the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again?” (24:5-7) “And he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name.’”
Like the disciples who subsequently remembered, we are to remember the words of Jesus on the night before he was killed. He took the bread and said, “Take, eat; this is my body,” and with the wine, “Drink from it … this is my blood.” (Matt. 26:26-28).
As we eat and drink the bread and the wine, we have the assurance that Jesus is with us always. Tell of the Savior that you know.
Yes! We are to retell our experience that others may believe and have eternal life. We too are called out and sent to the world to retell what had been witnessed. Tell of the Jesus Christ who touched your life and made you a new person. Tell of the Jesus Christ who came to save, who came to give life and give it more abundantly.
Tell the world that Christ has risen. Retell the story in word and deed so that we become instruments of the reality of the resurrection in the reign of God. Yes, the tomb is empty, and because it is empty, we who have faith in Christ Jesus have life eternally. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau,119 John F. Kennedy Drive can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.