“Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” the three women talk among themselves as they gather up all of the spices to give Jesus the preparation for burial He didn’t properly get. They never expected to find the tomb empty. It was the end of a good run with a good man, but it was over. Their beloved Jesus was gone. They would never see Him again.
To their surprise, when they approached the tomb, the stone had been rolled back. I wonder what the women were feeling as they made their way into the tomb...Were they cautiously entering full of fear? Were they excitedly rushing in? Were they full of hope that maybe He had risen as He said? Were they angry thinking someone had taken Him?
The tomb isn’t empty, but Jesus isn’t there either. Instead, a young man in a white robe was sitting in the tomb.
“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.”
The stone was rolled away not to let Jesus out, but to let us in. God is so good to let these women, who stuck with Jesus till the bitter end, SEE that the tomb was empty. And not only that, but the angel says they will get to SEE HIM.
Steven Furtick says, “The tomb may have looked empty…but it was full of hope, potential, possibility and new beginnings.”
The empty tomb isn’t the end of a story, but a new beginning.
Jesus WAS crucified, but He IS risen.
The women GO to the tomb. They didn’t have a plan; they didn’t have all the details figured out yet, but they went.
They are told NOT to BE AFRAID. This is shocking and unknown territory. God knows it elicits fear of what is to come, and He says, “do not be alarmed.”
The angel sent by God invites them to COME and SEE the place where He had been laid. To come and see for themselves that He was, but is no longer, there.
They are instructed to GO and TELL the disciples. They can’t linger long in the empty tomb or keep this incredible news to themselves. They must go and tell others.
And in the going, they are told they will SEE HIM, just as He promised.
It was a new beginning for the three women. It was a new beginning for the disciples. It was a new beginning for the kingdom of God. It IS a new beginning for us.
We need to GO; to take action to seek Him, despite our doubts. We need to COME and SEE; to examine truth for ourselves. We need to GO and TELL other what we’ve discovered. And most of all, we need to MEET HIM; to personally experience Him.
Tim Keller says, “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that He said; if He didn’t rise form the dead, then why worry about any of what He said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like His teaching, but whether or not He rose from the dead.”
Come and see for yourself. He has risen indeed.
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