by Seattle ALC
In the quiet of the early morning, Mary Magdalene and her companion Mary, the mother of James and Salome, came to the sepulcher. Their mission was to anoint the body of Jesus. On the day of His death, they had watched as He was placed in Joseph’s garden tomb and had seen the stone rolled unto its door. They had then prepared spices arid ointments for the anointing, and had rested on the sabbath day.
Their contact with Jesus had endeared Him to their hearts. They were constrained to come to the sepulchre. Although a fervent love burned within them toward Jesus, a great sadness pervaded their entire beings and a greater obstacle (that of unbelief) prevented them from anticipating the joy which awaited them at the sepulchre. Concerned about being able to perform their final service of love to their Master, they said to another as they walked: “Who will roll away the stone from the sepulchre”? They did not have the faintest idea of what awaited them that morning at the garden tomb. Not only was the natural sun beginning to rise and the day breaking, but the Sun of Righteousness had also risen with healing in His wings–but as yet they knew not the Scripture that He must rise from the dead.
Oh how dark and dismal is that life which has not been enlivened by the resurrection sun! Have you, too, like these women stood behind the stone of unbelief as it prevented you from knowing the joy of the finished work of redemption and the power of the resurrection? You know you must advance nearer to the open and empty tomb! There the angel of the Lord, who descended from heaven, has rolled away the stone from the door. He says: “Fear not.ye for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified. He is not here for He has risen as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matt. 28: 5&6)
This is the message of joy! The miracle of the resurrection sheds a radiance from heaven itself. The Lord is risen! These words are ab1e to remove the stone of unbelief from the door to our hearts and to dispel the clouds of fear and sadness. They form a flaming torch which shows the way to heaven.
After hearing the message spoken by the angel, the women departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy and ran to bring His disciples word. Peter and John hastened to the sepulchre and saw for themselves the truth of what the women had told them. In the meeting of Jesus with His disciples, He said: “Thus it is written and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations , beginning at Jerusalem, and ye are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24: 4-8)
The resurrection testifies to the validity of the sacrifice on the cross, and is God’s pledge to us of our own resurrection. “He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Rom. 4: 25) “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection from the dead. For as in Adam all die, in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor. 15: 21 & 22)
Dear friend. It is my prayer that you have become a partaker of Christ’s resurrection. To those that have risen with Christ, the Scriptures promise: “Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection. On such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev. 2: 6) May you be able to rejoice in the assurance that you have been “quickened together with Christ and made to sit with Him in heavenly places” (Eph. 2: 5 & 6) for “the Saviour, Jesus Christ, has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (II Tim. 1: 10)
“BUT AS FOR ME, I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVETH”
Job 19: 25
From the archives of the late Pastor Alvin Holmgren, March 1983
Submitted by Pastor Stan
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