By: Matt Boness
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went 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 and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel 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 has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” Matthew 28:1–15
The idea of someone resurrecting from the dead is a weird one. Have you ever seen it happen with your eyes? My point exactly. To be honest, the thought of my grandpa popping out of his grave kind of freaks me out. We have turned any idea of bodies rising from the dead into a horror show. Zombies, living dead and the like.
But, why have we not seen it? Why is that not a thing? For one, too many things have to reverse themselves. We have bodies that have a deadline, no pun intended, and once our bodies hit that point, they cease to work. My son asks me all the time if I can put something back together that is impossible to put back together. He’ll tear his bread in half and then ask me to put it back together. I can’t. Somethings aren’t meant to be put back together into their whole selves again.
And why would we want that anyway? Do we really want to live another _____ years, on failing bodies, just to die again eventually? And if we were immortal to begin with, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all because we wouldn’t have death.
That’s why Jesus’ resurrection is so special. It happened. Jesus didn’t come back as a Zombie. Quite the opposite, he came back with new life! But, what makes it even more special than just rising from the tomb to new life, was the work that Jesus completed because of that action. Without the resurrection, Christians would believe in a dead guy. He would be like everyone else, nothing more special than the next. Do we really want to be followers of a normal, totally dead guy?
There is this phrase in the Lutheran church, maybe others, around Easter time. If anyone says, “He is Risen!” the common response, without prompting is “He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!” Nowadays I see it posted all over social media on Easter day. It’s tacky to me because it has become routine and boring and the luster of the words have lost their shine. However, the truth of the statement is confirming and affirming that Jesus is indeed risen again! Alleluia! There is nothing tacky about that. It should speak to our souls.
We celebrate and get up at sunrise and worship and sing and come together on Easter because without the resurrection, not only would we have nothing to celebrate, we would have no one to celebrate and we would be stuck in a life of death with no escape. But Jesus created an escape for us. He rose, defeated death so that we could also live and defeat death. Not the immortal life of death that we would live here on earth, but a much greater life with Him eternally in heaven. The coolest part is that everyone is invited. There is no cover charge or blood oath. It’s just belief that this guy named Jesus maybe, just maybe arose from the dead and what’s you to have life too.
I hope and pray that your Easter is full of life!