They were all in shock. The man they had followed for the last three years — the one who they just knew was the Messiah — was dead. Grief crashed over them in waves. Why hadn’t he just stayed away from Jerusalem? He knew the religious leaders wanted to kill him.
And underneath the grief there was a current of fear. What if the people who killed Jesus came after them next? What were they going to do?
Suddenly some of the women burst in, all talking at once. “The tomb is empty.” “There were angels there. They asked us why we were looking for the living among the dead.” “He’s alive!“
Why were they talking such nonsense? They had seen him crucified; seen his lifeless body taken from the cross.
Without a word to anyone, Peter ran out. John followed immediately, and they both sprinted toward the tomb where Jesus was buried. They had to see for themselves if what the women said was true.
Once at the tomb, John stopped to look inside, but Peter – as usual – rushed right in. What he saw astounded him! The tomb really was empty! The only things left were the strips of cloth that had wrapped Jesus’ body, and the cloth that had covered his face.
They thought seeing it for themselves would settle things, but it only raised more questions. Why was the tomb empty? What had happened to Jesus’ body? They just didn’t understand what was going on….
They went to the place they were staying, back where the others were. That evening, two more showed up, claiming to have seen Jesus alive. While they were still talking about their miraculous encounter, Jesus appeared – out of nowhere! They thought they were seeing a ghost!
But then Jesus spoke:
“He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.'”Luke 24:38-39 (NIV)
The disciples were overjoyed! He really was alive!
Jesus went on to remind them of what he had told them before – that he had to suffer, die, and rise again as the payment for the sins of the world. The prophecies had been fulfilled. Jesus had paid the price, not only for their sins, but for all mankind’s. All they had to do was believe.
Now I’ve taken some artistic liberties with the narrative of exactly what happened between Jesus’ crucifixion and His appearance to the disciples, but only as concerns how the disciples were feeling, thinking, etc. We can build a timeline from the eyewitness accounts in the Bible that prove to us that Jesus suffered at the hands of His accusers, died on the cross, was buried, and rose on the third day.
He did all of this to pay the price for our sins. He gave us a priceless gift, one that we could never repay. All we have to do is accept this gift. We just have to believe.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”Romans 10:9
As we celebrate this Easter, I pray that you are able to believe the depth of God’s love for you – that He loved you so much that He sent His son to die for your sins – and experience the freedom that our Savior bought for you on that cross. God wants a personal relationship with you; with all of us.
If you don’t yet have that personal relationship, but want to, I invite you to pray the following prayer with me:
Lord, I admit I am a sinner. I need and want Your forgiveness. I accept Your death as the penalty for my sin, and recognize that Your mercy and grace is a gift You offer to me because of Your great love, not based on anything I have done. Cleanse me and make me Your child. By faith I receive You into my heart as the Son of God and as Savior and Lord of my life. From now on, help me live for You, with You in control.
In Your precious name, Amencrosswalk.com
I want to wish you a very happy and blessed Easter filled with faith, hope and love!
(1) Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.