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 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 over to 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. – Luke 24:1-9
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah! The tomb is empty. It is not empty because of vandals and grave robbers who desecrate graves, not because developers want to use the land for something else, or because a body was never in it.
No, 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.
On the first day of the week, Sunday, Mary Magdalene, along with several other women, visited Jesus’ tomb with spices to perform the customary rites of burial, which they were not able to do on Friday, the day before the Sabbath. However, when they reached the tomb, they noticed that the colossal stone, sealing the tomb, had been rolled away.
Then, moments later, they were surprised by two strange looking men who addressed them.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” These men were glowing in a frightening brightness.
This perplexing situation frightened the women and caused them to wonder. The men knew that they had to get those women to go deep into their subconscious mind to get them to remember because to “forget the past is to turn our most intimate teacher against us”.
Then, as they were being informed by the angels, they did three things: they remembered; they returned to the world; and they retold what they had witnessed.
We, along with the witnesses to the empty tomb, are called to remember. Remember that we are sinners. We have fallen short of the glory of God.
We are to remember the hurt we have caused to loved ones and to our neighbors. Remember the disturbing news about the murders in our communities. Remember the disturbing news we receive about the people of our world, daily.
Yes, we are to remember the story of Jesus, his life and death. Remember that he suffered for you and for me. Yes, we must remember because our memory is important to our pains and joys, and our feelings of grief and satisfaction.
Return and retell the old story of Jesus and his love. For God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus who, on that Friday, was mocked, whipped, and pierced in the side. He had a crown of thorns placed on his head, was crucified, died, and was buried.
Tell the story of how they hung him high and stretched him wide on Friday night. Yes, he died on Friday night. Friday, which was the dawning of the new day. Our Lord’s story did not end there. The grave could not hold him. The third day, he was resurrected and left the tomb.
Thank God for the empty tomb. Thank God for Jesus Christ who experienced the pains of death. He took our sins upon himself.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – II Cor 5:21. Amen.
• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr 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.