An Empty Grave
The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed. —Matthew 28:5-6 [MSG] — Scripture Reading Mathew 28:2-10
The importance of the empty tomb points to the bodily resurrection of Jesus. That death could not hold him. And, secondarily, because Jesus has risen, we can look forward to our own resurrection as well. The empty tomb demonstrates that death is not the end of the journey. There is much more to come.
The angel who announced the good news of the Resurrection to the women gave them four messages: (1) Don’t be afraid. The reality of the Resurrection brings joy, not fear. When you are afraid, remember the empty tomb. (2) He isn’t here. Jesus is not dead and is not to be looked for among the dead. He is alive, with his people. (3) Come, see. The women could check the evidence themselves. The tomb was empty then, and it is empty today. (4) Go quickly and tell. They were to spread the joy of the Resurrection. We, too, are to spread the great news about Jesus’ resurrection.
Jesus’ resurrection is the key to our faith. Why? (1) Just as he promised, Jesus rose from the dead. We can be confident, therefore, that he will accomplish all he has promised. (2) Jesus’ bodily resurrection shows us that the living Christ is ruler of God’s eternal Kingdom, not a false prophet or impostor. (3) We can be certain of our resurrection because he was resurrected. Death is not the end—there is future life. (4) The power that brought Jesus back to life is available to us to bring our spiritually dead selves back to life. (5) The Resurrection is the basis for the church’s witness to the world. Jesus is the Son of God.
Pastor Greg & Victoria Volich