On the Third Day

David Bast

READ : Matthew 28:1-10

“He is not here.” (v. 6 ESV)

We all know the story. Several of the women closest to Jesus head out to the garden tomb early Sunday morning to finish the job they had not had time to complete on Friday afternoon. As they reach the grave they see to their astonishment that the stone sealing the tomb has been rolled back. The women are even more startled by the angel’s incredible news: “Don’t be afraid. You seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here.”

The angel meant that literally. He wasn’t speaking the way we sometimes do in funeral homes. (“You know, Jimmy, Grandpa isn’t really here.”) The angel wasn’t speaking of Jesus’ soul; he was talking about his body.

This Easter announcement has never been contradicted. To the angel’s “He is not here,” no one has ever been able to respond, “Wait! He is over here. There’s his body.” Jesus’ resurrection was a physical event. The New Testament says as clearly as it can that Jesus rose bodily from the tomb. Skeptics who argue that the gospel accounts of the resurrection are really just a symbolic way of saying that Jesus’ influence lived on in his disciples’ lives simply haven’t got the story straight.

As Christians, we base our faith on the fact that Jesus rose. More than that, we are staking our whole future on it.

PRAYER

Jesus lives, and so shall I.