DayBreaks for 4/20/14 – Rising
Matthew 28:1-6 (NLT) – Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.
It was still dark outside the tomb and the coolness of the morning must have provided some sense of comfort to the women as they made their way to the garden where Jesus’ tomb was to be found. I would imagine that they walked in silence – to bereaved to speak many words, fearful of the sights and smells that would await them when they got to the tomb.
The naiveté of the women only emphasizes the depth of their loss and grief. How did they think they would get inside of the tomb? The stone was very great and they were just a handful of women. And, did they not remember that strong, intimidating guards had been posted and the tomb sealed with the official insignia to prevent any attempt to tamper with the body inside? Yet they walked on, driven by love for the deceased to complete their grisly task.
Inside the tomb it had been quiet and still, so dark that it could be cut with a knife, so quiet that one could hear tiniest movement. No human eye was permitted to witness the coming events for they certainly were too glorious for a human to behold…and still live!
And then there was a sound…the sound of the burial cloths as that which had been dead began to breathe and then move. There was perhaps the sound of angel wings rustling as they descended to move the stone (did they move it from the inside? – and if so, just imagine the terror of the guards!) The body, so battered and bruised and torn, sat up and the angels fell to their feet in awe and worshipped as the God they had seen die, the God who had created them, smiled.
The body still bore the marks of the beatings, the scourging, the nails and spear…it would not have been a pleasant sight except for the message it sent thundering through the hallways and corners of eternity and the grave: death is broken! It is death that has been defeated, not God! It is Satan who has been shown to be the weakling, not Jesus!
And the Light steps out of the tomb and into light…and the birds are singing their praise and the air is alive – drawn into lungs that moments before had been decaying. The feet that had been pierced walked…I wonder if they hurt as a reminder to the Savior of what He had accomplished and the price He had paid for the souls of any who would believe – even those who had put him onto the cross and who had vainly guarded his tomb.
And then, they see him and he sees them. And they know the truth that is almost too wonderfully good to believe…Jesus has risen from the dead!
PRAYER: Jesus, how my eyes long to see you in your risen glory, to fall at your feet and thank you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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