Luke 24: 1-3 (NIV): 1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
Here is our whole faith in three verses. The tomb was empty. The women had seen him dead and buried, and simply wanted to anoint his dead body with spices to keep the smell down. The best they had hoped for was that someone would help them roll the stone from the entrance. But it was already removed. They weren’t even happy that Jesus’ body was gone, they were saddened by this, thinking that someone had taken his body.
The idea that Jesus would have risen from the dead was nowhere in their minds. When they saw Jesus alive they were astonished and amazed and overjoyed.
Can we know this story is true? Is it just a myth or a legend? Is it just wishful thinking? Consider: Something happened in the lives of the witnesses. We have a reliable history of each of the disciples. Each of them was basically a coward. Each of them thought Jesus was going to be a political ruler who threw Rome out of Israel. Jesus didn’t – he died instead.
But the disciples didn’t quit the revolution, they died for it! Would they have all died for something they knew to be a lie? Not only this, but Christianity conquered the most powerful empire in the world within 200 years and continues to change history as it changes individual lives to this very day.
The only explanation is that the tomb was empty. But the story doesn’t end there. Soon, Jesus appeared to the disciples and many others. He appeared and spoke to the very people who had seen him die. He even spoke to 500 people at one setting. History records this, but you don’t need history to tell you that Jesus lives, you already know it if you have experienced him. Yes, the tomb was empty that first Easter morning and that changed everything. Jesus proved to be who he claimed to be – God in the flesh; the Messiah. He proved that he was the way to God and offers salvation to all who put their trust in him.
Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel “The Dead Peasants File” are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist churches.