Read Matthew 27 & 28
Key Verse: Matthew 28:6 “He is not here; for He is risen, as he said.”
The account of Jesus’ resurrection is foundational to Christian faith. In fact, all of New Testament theology presupposes resurrection, and Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, says that if Christ is not risen, our faith is in vain. Why? Because if Christ be not risen, then the central point of His teaching is in question. He says that He is the Son of God, and as such He should be able to rise above mere human mortality, as human as He was. If He, like us, is mastered by the grave, then however kind, good, loving, and miraculous His ministry is, He is just like any other man.
We read there was a violent earthquake and an angel descended, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lighting, his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid that they shook and became like dead men; possibly lying unconscious in their fear. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came along. They had seen Jesus die, had witnessed His burial, and now they witnessed the empty tomb. The angel told them to bring a message to the disciples that Jesus would meet them in Galilee. Hurrying away, they suddenly encountered Jesus. As they clasped His feet and worshipped Him, Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, go tell My brothers to go to Galilee and there they will see Me.”
Don’t be afraid? Who wouldn’t be afraid at a time like this? Never before had something like this occurred. That’s part of the legitimate lesson of Resurrection Day. Resurrection Day should inspire a certain kind of fear. One theologian said that we live in an enclosed valley called earth and Easter takes us to a neighbouring height to show us a world vaster than we have dreamed. It’s true!
Resurrection Day gives us an insight to the world that is to come. It brings a gripping historical confirmation to Paul’s theology which tells us that Christ is the first fruits of them that shall also rise, meaning you and me and all believers everywhere throughout history. We have a destiny, and we will individually be glorified and recognizable one to another. We will no longer be subject to death and decay. We will follow where Jesus has led us. That empty tomb is an open window to the kingdom of heaven.