He is not here; He has risen – Matthew 28

            The Passover meal. The betrayal. The denial. The trial. The beatings. The parade through Jerusalem. The cross. The darkness. “It is finished.” The spear. The tomb. The despair. The fear. What now?

            It had been three days since Jesus died. Can you imagine the despair, the sense of lostness the disciples were feeling as they remembered the last three years they had spent with Jesus? And now He was gone. What could they do? What would happen now?

            An earthquake. And angel in glowing robes. Fear. The soldiers faint, then run away. The women come to finish preparing the Lord’s body for permanent burial only to find the stone rolled away and an angel sitting on it. “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.” (vs 5-6 NIV)

            Confusion. Wonder. Hope. Joy. What would you feel? And then Jesus appeared! “Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings!’ He said. They came to Him clasped His feet and worshipped Him.” (vs 9 NIV) What would your response be?

            We serve a risen Lord! Death could not hold Him. He conquered the grave. And because H conquered, we have hope. I Corinthians 15:54-55 says, “’Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’” Because of Jesus victory we can sing, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know, He holds the future. And life is worth the living just because He lives.” (Because He lives – by Bill & Gloria Gaither)

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