The tomb is empty! Christ is risen! From the newly hewn tomb in Joseph’s garden this victorious cry of the gospel has emerged, crossing oceans and continents to encircle the world.
Its message brought the disciples from the dark night of the tomb into the bright sunshine of the first Easter day. Its reality confirms for all believers,
“Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).
It is upon the hinges of the resurrection that the doors of Christianity swing open. It is the core of Christian theology, the basic tenet of the Christian faith.
Yet, at the close of the first Easter day, the light of truth had only penetrated the darkness within a few hearts. It had reached Mary Magdalene and her sister in sorrow. It had been revealed to John the Beloved, as well as to a lone fisherman who had denied his Master.
It had also touched two disciples who rehearsed the joyful news of their unexpected encounter with their Master as they hastened from the city of Emmaus to tell the others. Finding the Eleven gathered, and others with them, they announced, “The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon” (Luke 24:34). As the group pondered these things, some doubting, some half persuaded, some believing, but all sorrowing and depressed, remembering how they had failed their Lord, suddenly He appeared in their midst. His presence changed the darkness of their perplexity into the sunlight of peace.
One cannot help but contrast the lives of the disciples before and after the resurrection. Often during their walk with Jesus they had failed to comprehend His words. He spoke of meekness; they spoke of might. He spoke of servanthood; they thought of self. He spoke of a heavenly kingdom; they could only comprehend an earthly one.
However, following the resurrection, these same men now became stamped from a different mold, with their spiritual eyes opened and their understanding enlarged. They feared neither punishment nor death. Nothing could stop them from proclaiming the good news of the gospel.
The same transformation, from the darkness of the tomb to the light of the risen Lord, may permeate the hearts and lives of all who receive Him today. He brings gladness into all hearts and lives when He enters, and we too can state with confidence, “The Lord is risen indeed!”
Willard S. Evans, The War Cry