What a shock for the disciples to arrive at the tomb and behold the empty linen in which the body of Christ had been wrapped! John tells us that they did not understand the Scripture, that Christ must rise again. These men, so shaken by the past few days, were now faced with something even more bewildering than the death of their leader by crucifixion. What could an empty tomb possibly mean?
The entire story of salvation history turns on this singular, most powerful event. Without it, everything that Jesus had said and done would have been forgotten or seriously questioned. No doubt the enormity of the resurrection caused his followers to rethink, "just what did he say?" Throughout His many discourses, Jesus retold Israel's history, but cast himself as the last Adam, the new Moses who gives the new law of liberty, the son of David, the suffering Messiah and the new Temple that would be destroyed only to be raised in three days.
The resurrection is proof that Jesus is who he said he was. When all the scripture references and prophecies about himself were pointed out to the disciples, they finally saw Jesus as the Messiah and understood what type of Messiah he was: the suffering servant sacrificed for the atonement of sin. It all fell into place for them. They knew the story of their people and how God had lead the nation of Israel, so when it was revealed to them that Jesus provided a New Covenant for them in His blood, they were able to preach the surety of the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles. It became clear to the disciples that the mission of the Messiah was to lead all people out of sin and bondage into righteousness and freedom.
The resurrection of Christ should act as an anchor for our souls in times of doubt and in stormy situations. After the resurrection Jesus met up with some of his followers who had hoped in him but were greatly discouraged about his death. They didn't recognize him until he revealed himself in the breaking of the bread. Once his followers understood that he was alive and available, their entire life turned around. Think about it, a handful of people who knew that Jesus rose from the dead went on to turn the world upside down.
Every time we receive communion we are reminded that Jesus is not dead but alive. Our lives are not in vain because we are in Christ and he gives our lives meaning both here on earth and in heaven. We were crucified with Christ, buried with him. and we rose from the dead with him. We can celebrate the resurrection of Christ knowing that death has been swallowed up in Christ's victory. If we are "in Christ" then his victory is our victory. St. Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and delivered himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20).
Things To Do:
Reflect on the text below. How might the resurrection of Christ change the way you live your daily life?
"I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:50-58).