But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus.
Within these 3 sentences, everything changes. Before this, the people of the Earth were trying to reconcile their broken relationship with God through 'being good' and following the law. Religion ruled as men used God to control other men. Sacrifices were made to atone for sins. Their hope for redemption and forgiveness was placed in some future event.
For those that believed Jesus was the messiah; the one who would make a way for us to have a relationship with our creator. Their hope had been nailed to a cross, and had suffered through a slow, inhumane murder. They spent their Sabbath wondering what the death of Jesus meant, what had happened to their hope, and if the last 3 years of following this amazing man had all been for nothing.
But very early on Sunday morning everything changed. The tomb was empty. Hope had returned. And though they couldn't quite comprehend it at the moment, I'm sure they knew in their hearts that it was all true. The prophecy in the scriptures had been fulfilled. Death had been conquered. The connection with our creator had been reestablished. Mankind was saved.
But that's a pretty big idea to comprehend, so instead,
The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it.
Some confirmation. Now it's been stated. He is risen. What they felt in their hearts now starts to make sense in their minds. But it had to be a surreal feeling. I mean, it was a Sunday morning. It probably didn't feel like the day the world changed. What would that even feel like? Especially, when you were expecting horses and chariots and thunderous announcements from the heavens. This was three women discovering an empty tomb. It's no wonder that the men didn't believe them.
We men aren't that smart and we don't always listen very well. And we definitely don't listen very well when it comes to Jesus, which is why he always has to go to extra lengths to make his point with us.
Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
Food always helps men see better.
From here on, the news starts spreading. Jesus shows himself to more and more people and the realization that the world has changed for eternity begins to set in with the believers of the time.
The ripple effects of those events can still be felt. That good news continues to spread today. There are still those who can't see what Jesus has done for them. There are those who have not heard that the connection to their creator has been reestablished and they now have the opportunity to spend eternity with him. There are still those that choose not to believe.
The fact remains. He is risen. The tomb is empty. Death was defeated. Hope has returned. There is something greater out there for you than this world.
Come be a part of our gathering next Sunday as we begin a new series looking at the importance of the Bible.