Yesterday was Easter Sunday, the day which celebrates our Lord Jesus Christ walking out of His grave. It is, quite simply, the most important day in the history of the world.
It was not long after that first Easter Sunday that the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ started to greet one another with a new saying: “CHRIST IS RISEN . . . HE IS RISEN INDEED!” In this one short statement of truth, the entire Gospel message is summed up.
He has risen! He is not here.
Jesus is the only religious leader in history who made the claim that after He suffered and died, He would rise from the dead three days later. Every other religious leader is still in the grave! Dr. D. James Kennedy captured this idea beautifully in a sermon titled “Message from an Empty Tomb” . . .
You may go to the tomb of Mohammed, and they will tell you, “Here lie the bones of the great prophet.”
You may go the tomb of Napoleon, and they will say, “Here lie the bones of the emperor of France.”
You may go to Moscow and see the tomb of Lenin, and they will say, “Here lie the bones of the great founder of Soviet Communism.”
But you may go to the tomb of Jesus, and they will tell you, and you may walk in and see for yourself, “Here lie the bones of no one. He is not here. He is risen, as he said he would.”
The message from the empty tomb is a message of hope.
Only in Christianity do we find the leader walking out of His grave, just as He said He would do. On that first Easter morning, Jesus Christ became the death of death; because of this truth, death no longer holds any power over those who place their trust in Jesus.
You see, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is a dead religion, our faith is futile, and all our sharing of the good news of the Gospel is in vain. But the grave is not the end of the story for Jesus and His followers. It is only the place where we pass from this life to the next. Absence from the body means that we find ourselves present with our Lord, because Jesus is alive and well, sitting at the right hand of God the Father. The world has never heard any greater news!
And sharing that news is what you and I are to be busy doing, just as the angel instructed the women at the empty tomb: “Go and tell . . . !” We are to go and tell the world about the One who rose from the grave. We are to go and tell the world about the One who is coming back to finish what He started. We are to go and tell the world what the Lord has done for us.
Think about it this way: we immediately tell our friends and family about a good movie we went to see or a great meal we ate at a new restaurant. Why would we not tell EVERYONE about a dead man who got up and walked out of His grave, the God-man who is offering eternal life to all who put their trust in Him?
When was the last time you told someone about Jesus Christ? There really is no more important message we could share with anyone, other than this truth:
HE IS RISEN . . . HE IS RISEN INDEED!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!