“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. - Matthew 28:5-9
They found an empty tomb. The impossible happened. The pain and despair of Friday was overcome. The doubt and confusion of Saturday was answered. Sunday had arrived. And it was there that the great gift of Easter is given: HOPE. A hope through the resurrection of Jesus which gives us confidence in God, in His ultimate triumph, and in His goodness and love. A love that can never be shaken. The empty tomb is why we can have hope to live, hope to love, hope to forgive, and hope to be a resurrection people living in a broken world.
HE IS RISEN
So much happens in the days that follow, but that initial moment of fear and joy is one which we can all relate too. We are often the women at the tomb, not wanting to get our hopes up because everything has seemed to go wrong for so long. It seems fair that fear would have lingered due to the events of the past week, but suddenly joy was birthed Their sorrow was turned into joy (John 16:19-20) when hope came for them. Came for us. This joy was different. .
HE IS RISEN
This was no ordinary joy. This was an unquenchable joy birthed from the greatest tragedy and the greatest victory in history. And when Jesus burst out of that tomb there was no power, no enemy, no evil which could defeat that joy. It was joy purchased by blood. It is a newborn joy that we are given today.
HE IS RISEN
If Christ is still dead, death reigns, and all our joy is meaningless. Or, as Paul says, “If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die’” (1 Corinthians 15:32).
But if death is defeated, and Jesus now lives then let hope be our anthem. For the darkness has been broken and we are offered a life of joy in Jesus, the hope of humanity, that cannot be stolen away. The tomb is empty, so today, and forevermore, I choose to rejoice in that reality.