“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, ‘Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen.”
King James Version
“He Is Risen”
“Christ has turned all our sunsets into dawns.”
Clement of Alexander
Is Christ’s light of hope shining in my heart today?
“Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.”
“We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence.”
Many years ago, my husband Jim took a trip all through the Holy Land. He had a longing to walk where Jesus walked. But of all the places he visited, the one that made the most lasting impression upon him was the visit to a garden tomb, a place some historians believe was the tomb where Jesus was laid. As Jim related his experience to me later, he made this observation: “I have never walked around an ‘empty’ tomb before,” he said. “In fact, this is what moved me. Over and over again, the words, ‘He is risen,’ kept going through my mind.”
After frequently visiting the cemetery where my dad is buried, I have never seen an empty tomb. A place where someone was buried and then one day arose from the grave.
Thank God, there is an empty tomb where once the Son of God was laid. And then, His Father called Him forth, and Jesus arose.
While the death of Jesus gives me the grace that covers the stains in my life, the resurrection of Jesus gives me the hope I need each day to keep moving forward in the face of life’s tragedies and sorrows.
The empty tomb gives hope when a loved one dies of a heart attack.
The empty tomb gives hope when a child dies of leukemia.
The empty tomb gives hope when we feel as though we are bearing our burdens alone.
Hope is the candle on our darkest days that illuminates our path. This prayer penned by theologian Karl Barth so beautifully describes the hope and light of Christ’s resurrection:
“O Lord God, our Father. You are the light that can never be put out; and now you give us a light that shall drive away all darkness. You are love without coldness, and you have given us such warmth in our hearts that we can love all when we meet. You are the life that defies death, and you have opened for us the way that leads to eternal life.
None of us is a great Christian; we are all humble and ordinary. But your grace is enough for us. Arouse in us that small degree of joy and thankfulness of which we are capable, to the timid faith which we can muster, to the cautious obedience which we cannot refuse, and thus to the wholeness of life which you have prepared for all of us through the death and resurrection of your Son. Do not allow any of us to remain apathetic or indifferent to the wondrous glory of Easter, but let the light of our risen Lord reach every corner of our dull hearts.”
The Apostle Paul, who wanted to encourage and give hope to the Christian believers in the city of Corinth, sent them this hope filled message: “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…for since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (I Corinthians15: 12-14, 21, 22, NIV).
Every time I read these words, in my mind I go back to the place on a grassy hill where my father is buried. How thankful I am I can rejoice that an empty tomb holds the promise of a hopeful future. A day when death will not hold sway over the lives of those we love. A day when we can all say, “O death where is thy sting.”
“Listen, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
“Christ our life,
you are alive
in the beauty of the earth
in the rhythm of the seasons
in the mystery of time and space
Christ our life,
You are alive
in the tenderness of touch
in the heartbeat of intimacy
in the insights of solitude
Christ our life,
You are alive
in the creative possibility
of the dullest conversation
the dreariest task
the most threatening event
Christ our life,
You are alive
to offer re-creation
to every unhealed hurt
to every dreaded place
to every damaged heart
You set before us a great choice.
Therefore we choose life.
The dance of resurrection soars and surges through the whole creation.
It sets gifts of bread and wine upon our table.
This is grace, dying we live.
So let us live.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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