Thursday, April 09, 2009

His is Risen
Luke 24 & Mark 16

For the past few months we have been practicing a cantata for presentation at Easter entitled “Easter Song” by John W. Paterson. As we come to the end of the song, there is a triumphant refrain that states, “Alleluia, Christ is risen, Christ is risen, Christ is risen from the dead. Alleluia.”

As I thought on these life-changing words, I recalled an article that was titled “The Empty Tomb”. In this article the writer presents a list of well-known places that are revered because of those buried there -- historical places such as the Pyramids of Egypt, where the ancient mummified bodies of the rulers of Egypt were laid to rest. There are places visited by millions as part of sacred pilgrimages, such as the burial place of Mohammad, and the less-than-sacred such as Graceland, the burial place of Elvis Presley. Westmininster Abbey in London is the final resting place of many noble Englishmen and women (including Handel – 14th April 1796). There are the many final resting places of those who gave their lives for their countries, including those tombs of the “Unknown Soldier”.

All these famous graves have one thing in common -- that one common denominator being that the bodies of those that were buried there remain where they were buried, (except in cases such as the Pyramids where the bodies were removed by archaeologists for study).

There is one great important difference between these tombs and the tomb of Jesus. His tomb is empty, and has been empty for over two thousand years. There is no epitaph of Jesus inscribed in stone or in gold which says, “Here lies Jesus.” Rather we find that Jesus’ epitaph was spoken by the mouth of the angel to those who went to the tomb very early in the morning on the third day, when he said, “ He is NOT here … He is Risen!”

Today we have no sealed tomb that denotes the burial place of Jesus for He is alive. He is alive and available for all who will accept this truth and believe that He not only died but God raised him from the dead. He is the Son of God and has now ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us. We who believe have joy and assurance that He not only lives but that He reigns in our hearts.

Praise God the tomb is empty – Jesus is alive and He lives forever more.

Hallelujah – Jesus is alive !