See Where They Laid Him

EmptyTomb

The resurrection of Jesus is everything. This is it for Christians. It is moving that Jesus loved us so much to die for us. It is convicting that humanity can be so cruel and violent as to destroy a loving man like Jesus. But what really matters is this: Jesus died for you as a sacrificial lamb to pay for your sins and Jesus rose from the dead.

Without Jesus rising from the dead, the death was just a death. Your sins are not forgiven. You are not restored to God. You are not made righteous by his death. He just died. But, as the angel told the women at the tomb, "See where they laid him. He's not here. He is risen."

The empty tomb itself bears witness. It is evidence that demands a verdict. Some say Christians were caught up in a legend. But legends don't form in a matter of days, it takes decades for a myth to outstrip real events. Some say the women went to the wrong tomb. But the tomb belonged to a very well-known leader, Joseph of Arimathea. Even if there was a mistake, it would have quickly been sorted out. Some say Jesus swooned and revived, but there is no account anywhere in history of a man accidentally surviving a Roman crucifixion. Romans knew how to produce death.

The tomb was empty. It is empty still.

Even hard-nosed historians have to develop some thesis to explain the phenomenon. Within months, hundreds of people claimed to have seen Jesus. No one could produce a body. The Roman and Jewish authorities had every motivation to prove the death of Jesus was final and they could not. The disciples and followers of Jesus began dying in persecution against the movement, and still they could only profess what they knew was true: Jesus was alive after he was dead. The tomb is empty. You can go see for yourself.

Many religions tell you what to try. They will give advice on how to get to God. Philosophies of life will give you guidance on how to find happiness, peace or fulfillment if you just try hard enough and follow the plan. Only Christianity declares that God has come to you. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ says God died for you to save your life.

The week we enter on Sunday, from Palm Sunday to Good Friday to Easter Sunday--it doesn't give you advice. It declares an event. Christ died for you.

Jesus lived. Jesus died. Jesus rose again. Peer into the empty tomb. Look where they laid him. He is not there. He is alive. Put your faith in him. Only the conqueror of death can carry you into eternal life.  

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him." Mark 16:6