We all have those tough times in life that take an incredible toll on us. That’s when we need God to be with us, to help us and give us strength. That’s exactly what happened on Easter. Jesus joined two of His followers on their walk to Emmaus. Even though they did not recognize Him, Jesus was with them. Even when we don’t realize His presence, Jesus walks with us through the tough times of our lives.
The report about the resurrection of Jesus sounded too good to be true. So the Disciples didn’t believe the women. Peter ran to the tomb, looked inside and was confused. It took time before the Disciples believed. The resurrection is both good and true. Isn’t it time to look, see and believe?
The women who went to the tomb are identified by their names. The account of Jesus’s resurrection has the support of specific details. This was not an imagined or fabricated story. The resurrection is essential to the Christian faith. The women were in a rush to tell the Disciples because the resurrection changes everything.
Two men, angels, appeared to the women at the tomb and told them to remember what Jesus said. Everything happened just as He said it would including His resurrection. The grave was empty. Jesus is alive. We need to remember that when life empties us of hope and joy. Remember God always keeps his promises.
The women were empty as they made their way to the tomb that Sunday morning. They carried spices in their hands for Jesus’s body, but their hearts were empty. They had been drained by sorrow. You may know the feeling if you’ve lost someone you love. But things changed when they got to the tomb because it was empty too. The empty tomb can fill our hearts and lives with hope that Jesus lives.
The women were faithful to the very end. They were there when Jesus died. They were there when His body was placed in the tomb. They were ready to finish the task off preparing Jesus’s body for the grave on Sunday morning. God was faithful to His promises. The grave would be empty and Jesus alive the next time the women would return.
Jesus’s body was taken from the cross and buried in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. Tombs in ancient Israel were sometimes used to hold multiple bodies or re-used. Not Jesus’s tomb. No doubt He was dead and buried in that one particular tomb so there could be no doubts about that being Jesus’s empty tomb on Easter. Jesus died and was buried on Friday. But Easter Sunday was coming that would change everything.
Joseph of Arimathea was a risk taker for Jesus. He risked not going along with the condemnation of Jesus. He risked asking Pilate for Jesus’s body to bury. Faith isn’t always easy. Sometimes we have to take risks to live out our faith. But the Lord will always be with us. We can’t risk ignoring or denying the Lord. We can risk being known as a Jesus follower.
Jesus died on the cross to forgive sins. People in the crowd at the cross saw and mourned. Some of Jesus’ friends and followers were eye witnesses too. The Muslim faith that says Jesus was not crucified is wrong. The Gnostic teachings that God’s Spirit left Jesus before the crucifixion is wrong too. Jesus true God and true man died on the cross to take away the sin of the world.
It took the Roman soldier in charge of Jesus’ execution to recognize that He was someone special. One criminal and one one Roman soldier see Jesus for who He really is on the cross. How do you see Jesus? Is He just another religious leader, a morals teacher? Or is He the innocent Son of God who took away our sins on the cross? No one else can answer that question for you.