Summary: HE IS NOT HERE ... HE IS RISEN!
HE IS RISEN
1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they* came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. 3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 and as they were afraid, bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen … [KJV] – *[cf. Luke 24:10; Mark 16:1 – Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, Salome, & other women.]
A. Gravesites …
Cindy and I like going into old cemeteries to read the headstones. To us it is interesting to see what was written long ago about the person buried at that location.
When compared to today’s headstones the inscriptions on the older tombstones are quite different. Most tombstones today have just the Name, DoB, and the DoD.
However, many of the older tombstones are more like stories of who the person was that is buried there.
Here lies the body of Jonathan Pound
Who was lost at sea and never found.
At the famous cemetery of the old west – Boothill
Here lies Lester Moore
Four shots from a .44
Here lies an atheist, John Doe
All dressed up and no place to go
Effie Jean Robinson - 1897-1922
Come blooming youths, as you pass by,
And on these lines do cast an eye.
As you are now, so once was I;
As I am now, so must you be;
Prepare for death and follow me.
[But underneath, someone had added these words:]
To follow you
I am not content,
How do I know
Which way you went.
I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK!
The most significant thing about these headstones (grave markers) is not their humorous epitaphs but is that they mark where there are the remains of a person in the grave. Individuals who once lived on this earth and have since died. Which is a commonality found in all cemeteries.
it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment
The soul who sins shall die.
the wages of sin is death.
B. Empty Tomb –
However there is one grave that does not have a marker – there is nobody there, it is empty! For following three days and nights after Jesus [who was sinless – 2 Cor. 5:21] was put to death, He arose from the dead leaving only a stone rolled away – not to let Christ out, but to let His disciples in - to look and see His unwrapped burial clothes and only an empty tomb where He once laid.
1. Do you believe this about Christ?
It is so important how you answer that question. Today we have come together to celebrate the resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ.
B. H. Carroll
This doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is fundamental and vital in the Christian system, and absolutely essential to its integrity – so much so, that if a man denies the resurrection of the body, he denies the whole Bible; for if the foundation be removed the whole superstructure falls. [The Four Gospels, Part II, of An Interpretation of the English Bible, 402.]
1 Cor. 15:12-17
Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up – if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
2. Not A Child’s Holiday
Many of our children and grandchildren unfortunately only think of one thing on this day; “has the Easter bunny visited and did he leave any candy?” Traditions such as these will always be around for children, so be wise in how you observe them. However, keep in mind, that no matter how you follow this tradition; the meaning of this day is not about children’s stories, but about the resurrection of Christ Jesus the Son of God.