Tuesday after Easter
Scripture: St. Matthew 28:1-15 (NKJV)
28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
Why do we say “Christ is risen from the dead” on Easter Sunday? Why don’t we say “Christ was risen from the dead”? It is because that event never ends. The resurrection begins Christ’s restored life forever. And it begins our lives forever as well.
Yes, historically speaking, Christ was risen from the dead all those centuries ago, but the living reality is that Christ is risen today, and every day, till the end of time and beyond. Easter morning extends forever, to this morning, to the end of the age. The resurrection is forever. Jesus lives forever, and in Him we live forever. Praise the Lord for it!
The “was” and the “is” of the resurrection are both important. Our faith is based in an historical event. It is based on the specific event that happened two thousand years ago in a garden tomb in the early morning. If that event did not take place, none of the rest of our faith is worth anything. Jesus was actually, physically raised from the dead, and our Christian faith does depend on it. As St. Paul says, “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” But how does St. Paul respond to those who deny the resurrection? He says, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” That is the Christian answer. Christianity depends on Jesus having risen from that tomb in Jerusalem all those centuries ago. You can be assured He did. A number of faithful Christian women were there and bore witness to the fact.
We pray: May we always remember that we are alive through Christ Jesus now, and live in His resurrection life. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.