What Do You See in the Empty Tomb?

We have looked at Sunday’s Road to Emmaus appearance and an early the Upper Room appearance where Jesus came to the disciples, but today let’s go back to Resurrection Sunday morning and visit the scene again with fresh eyes. When you look into the tomb, do you see hopelessness and despair or hope and freedom?

The post resurrection appearances began at the empty tomb.  This fact occurs in each of the 4 gospels and 3 of the gospels include the appearance of a heavenly being (an angel) interacting with the grieving followers of Jesus.   Since Jesus had been hastily buried due to the need to have him buried before sundown, as it was the beginning of the Sabbath and no one could be buried on the Sabbath, His body was not properly prepared with spices.  It was wrapped but not fully treated.  The women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went to the tomb with spices intending to anoint Jesus’ body.  The gospel accounts say it was very early in the morning as they walked and talked on the way to the garden tomb.   They were concerned about how they were going to get the stone in front of the tomb removed so they could enter to anoint Jesus’ body.  When they arrived this was the scene:

garden tomb-Jerusalem

And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”  Mark 16:4-8

The angel, who appeared to be a young man, told them not to be afraid as he had good news about Jesus.  He encouraged them to look and see that Jesus was not there.  He also told them to go and tell the others Jesus had risen and they would see Him again.  The women rushed off to tell the disciples.  John describes their reactions in John 20:3-8. “So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;”

Can you even imagine their joy, surprise, awe, fear or confusion over experiencing the empty tomb, the angel, the clothes that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body empty and the face cloth neatly folded?  The disciples saw and believed.  How about you?  Do you look and see the things God does in your life? How do you explain unusual happenings in your life? Is it the providential care of God? Do these things register with you that God loves and cares about you?  God has a plan for your life just as He did for these disciples. He wanted them to encounter the living God. He wanted them to see and believe! Jesus wants that for us too. Jesus wants us to live with Hope in Him and know He is alive! He wants to dispel our doubts and fears so we may walk each day trusting Him. Open your eyes and see God today. He is alive! He has Risen indeed!

he-has-risen

May you encounter the Living Jesus and His transforming power today.

Linda

After Jesus’ Resurrection, The Rest of the Story…

As we celebrated on Easter morning, Jesus did not stay in the tomb but rose from the dead. After his resurrection, he appeared many times to individuals, small groups and to as many as 500 at once. He was alive in their midst as He talked, ate and shared himself with them confirming his life and assuring them of his victory over death. As we move along the road towards his ascension and return to heaven 40 days after his resurrection, we will come face to face with Jesus’ divinity and power over death. Join me on this journey as I look at each of the appearances over the next 40 days.

One of my favorite post-resurrection appearances is the encounter of the two on the Road to Emmaus.  Overcome with grief because of Jesus’ death and disbelief over what the women said about seeing Him alive,  these two followers of Christ were walking along the Emmaus Road discussing all these recent events and reports.  Jesus joined them on their journey without disclosing his identity.  As they walked they were surprised that he did not know about all the events that had just occurred in Jerusalem and told him their hope that Jesus had been the long awaited Messiah.   Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”  Luke 24:25-27

Wouldn’t you have loved to have been there and listened to Jesus explain all about Himself?  A little later in the story when they were sitting down to eat, Jesus gave thanks, broke the bread and began to give it to them.  Right then, their eyes were opened  and they recognized Jesus.  He then disappeared from their presence.  Even though it was late they quickly returned to Jerusalem to tell the disciples about their encounter with the risen Lord Jesus.

Jesus came to these two when they were in grief, despair and confusion, and He cleared up their thinking, encouraged and enlivened them.  Can you remember a time when Jesus came to you in prayer or through the actions or words of another believer to give you hope and encouragement?  Jesus promises that He will be with us wherever we go.  Just like these two, we need to look and recognize His presence with us and the hope that He brings.

I pray that my Lenten Blogs have brought you hope and encouragement these past 6 weeks.  I have been mightily blessed by being with you and in the scriptures each day.  I am still pondering the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice and all the truths gleaned from Colossians. I pray you will bask in the hope of the empty tomb knowing He has Risen, He has Risen Indeed!

Linda

Indeed, He has Risen!! Look and See

Happy Easter to you this Resurrection Sunday morning!  Scripture tells us that the women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body and encountered 2 angels.  The angels said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!  Remember how he told you, while was still with you in Galilee.  The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Then they remembered his words.” Luke 24:5b-8    Then Mary encountered Jesus himself in the garden while she was weeping.  Jesus said to her, “Mary” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” John 20:16  Then she ran to tell the disciples filled with great joy as Jesus was Alive!

I pray that you will encounter the Risen Lord Jesus this Resurrection Sunday and experience great JOY in worshiping Him!   Here is a description of our future because of what Jesus did for us at the cross and through His resurrection. Praise you Jesus!

Isaiah 61 10

10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
    For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
    or a bride with her jewels.
11 The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
    Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
    with plants springing up everywhere.  Isaiah 61:10-11

Because Christ died on the cross and roes from the dead, I am redeemed and clothed in His righteousness forever! Thank you Jesus!

Have a Blessed Easter!

Linda