“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.” Matthew 28:6 (NASB)
It’s today on Resurrection Day, or Easter that many observe this day. We remember the promise (John 16:16) Jesus gave to his disciples and also to us (John 17:20-21). The Bible records important messages which were delivered on the day Jesus arose from the dead. Of these messages perhaps none are more important than this one in chapter 28:6. It is the message an angel gave to the two women who came looking for the body of Jesus. The angel, sent from heaven that morning, rolled away the stone so the tomb where Jesus had been buried would be open. We believe that the angel didn’t need to roll away the stone to let Jesus out. He was already gone. That was the news the angel told those women looking for Jesus. The stone was rolled away to let any seeking Jesus would see that He was gone, no longer in grave dead. What a wonderful message that is for us too. The one who had died for us, was alive again and He is still living today as a part of our lives. Jesus, the Son of God lives today, that’s a promise He made and keeps.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles. They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.” – Mark 10:33-34 (NASB)
Sometimes we find a promise that has already been fulfilled. It was a prophetic promise in this verse that Jesus’ disciples did not understand. We’re reminded as we approach the observance of Resurrection Sunday* which includes the whole week leading up to that day. Although the observance of Easter has been completely commercialized with Easter eggs, candy, and bunnies, faith believers observe the first day of the week because Christ was resurrected on the third day after his crucifixion which was the first day after the seventh – Sabbath. The promise Jesus gave to his disciples in our passage was multifold. He promised that He – the Son of Man – would be arrested, charged by the Jewish rulers, condemned to death by the Romans. It would include mocking, spitting, scourging, and death. Suffering would be followed by His resurrection. They missed that promise completely. But we can understand after the fact and still rejoice that Jesus promised His death and all his suffering lead to His resurrection. He provided for us new life in Himself. That is why we still rejoice in our Lord and Savior Jesus. We can remember this every Sunday, not only on Easter Sunday.*
Why do we call it Easter?