(Photo by Zelda Dominguez)
He Has Risen, He is Not Here
By Zelda Dominguez
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies…’”
– John 11:25 (NASV)
I recently went to Israel and visited the garden tomb where Jesus was buried and it was empty! I am an eye-witness; His body is not there. It reminded me of another story of life through death.
“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. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.” Luke 23:1-8
As I stood outside the tomb I could picture these women. They were full of sorrow, distraught because Jesus was dead. In Matthew 27, it tells us that after laying the body in the tomb Joseph of Arimathea rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb while the women watched. So it was understandable in Mark 16:3, they had asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But as we read on, upon arriving they discover the stone was rolled away! Now as if that wasn’t enough, they see these two angels that ask them this astounding question that changed everything. “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
It’s a remarkable question because who goes to the cemetery to see the living? They went to prepare his dead body. Their focus was on death. How they felt, or perhaps what were they to do now? Things had not ended as they thought.
Can you imagine the varied emotions they must have went through those past three days? Jesus said “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” That means not only eternally, but now. Where are you looking for life? In a person, or career? Are you looking through having a good time or a dating site? Just saying… I was there. I was in a relationship where the guy was dead spiritually, yet I desperately wanted him to care for me as a godly man should. Until I heard this verse, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Are you looking to something that can’t bring you life?
Next the angelic beings pointed out, “Jesus is not here, He is risen!” They wanted to draw focus on the Lord instead of His death – He is alive!
We Christians love the symbol of the cross. We sing about it, we wear it on our jewelry and clothes, but a crucifixion meant a brutal death. There are some that still center on the death of the cross instead of the life of the resurrection. Death was defeated and tragedy turned to triumph!
Lastly, the angels reminded the women of God’s words, “He told you while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” We need to be turned to God’s word because when we let anything else lead us, we are most vulnerable. We too need to hear and remember God’s word.
As the women were told, they remembered, and quickly went to tell the others the good news! I’m here to tell you God had a greater plan for you and I. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he sent his only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.” God doesn’t want you to be separated from Him. Not now…or forever. Our sin separates us from him. Eternity means forever with God, or apart from him. On the cross, all our sins were laid on Christ and he became the final and perfect sacrifice for our sins. By his death on the cross Christ took upon the judgment we deserve. As the Bible says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us.” Because of the cross, we can be forgiven, and because of the resurrection, he conquered death. We don’t have to fear death.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord and Savior and would like the assurance of eternal life, Realize you are a sinner. The Bible says, “Everyone has sinned; we all fall short.” Recognize Jesus Christ died on the cross for you. Repent of your sins. Acts 3:19 says, “Now repent of your sins and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped away.” Lastly, receive Jesus into your life. Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”