Summary: The same enemy who tried to keep Jesus in the grave tempts us to doubt. Doubt that the Bible is accurate. Doubt that such a miracle could happen. Yet we have the opportunity to be the people Jesus talked about when He said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).*
Heaven held its breath. The angels waited in anticipation while most of the earth slept—unaware of what was about to take place. Some humans who were awake spent the night weeping. Others tossed and turned, their minds filled with questions and doubts. Some sat and stared, while a few hid all night in fear.
You see, they’d forgotten the promise Jesus made when He said that He would be delivered to the Gentiles, mocked and insulted and spit upon, scourged, and killed. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He said that on the third day He would rise again (Luke 18:32, 33).
Jesus kept that promise. In spite of the fact that the chief priests and Pharisees asked Pilate for an order to secure His tomb; in spite of the fact that Pilate had a seal placed on the heavy stone that blocked its entrance; in spite of the fact that guards were appointed to safeguard it; and in spite of the fact that Satan used all the power he possessed to prevent Jesus’ resurrection, nothing could keep Him in the grave.
But because Jesus’ disciples had forgotten His promise, when they first heard the news that He’d risen, they didn’t believe it. So Peter and John raced to the tomb to see for themselves. It wasn’t until they saw that it was empty that they believed.
Many today don’t believe either. They view the Resurrection story as a fable, not as a fact. But we, too, can see the empty tomb. We can see it through reading the Bible’s account of what happened. We have the written evidence. But the same enemy who tried to keep Jesus in the grave tempts us to doubt. Doubt that the Bible is accurate. Doubt that such a miracle could happen. Yet we have the opportunity to be the people Jesus talked about when He said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).*
I personally believe this Bible story, and I wish that I could have been there on that Resurrection morning to feel the earth quake beneath my feet, to hear the heavy stone being rolled away by an angel sent from heaven, and to shade my eyes from the brilliance of Jesus’ form as He appeared at the tomb’s entrance. The earth had never before felt such power. It was the power of a God strong enough to conquer death!
The best news anyone could ever give you is this: “He’s alive!” These two words take care of every problem, every heartache, every hopeless feeling you have. They are your answer. They are your healing. They are your hope.
Jesus’ resurrection means at least three things to you.
1 Jesus has forgiven your sins
My mother-in-law had been married for fifty-some years when she told me that she’d always admired how quickly her husband, Joe, forgave.
“I worked full-time in a fast-paced job and sometimes came home stressed,” she said. “If I acted in a way I later regretted, I would tell Joe, ‘I’m sorry.’ He’d then turn to me with a puzzled look on his face and ask, ‘Sorry for what?’ When I’d tell him, he’d say with a twinkle in his eye, ‘I don’t remember that.’ ”
It’s because Jesus died and rose to forgive you that the apostle John could promise that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
So don’t believe the lie. Don’t believe that what you’ve done in the past can’t be forgiven. Don’t believe that you’re not good enough for God to forgive you. He died because He loves you. He couldn’t stay in the tomb because He loves you. All you have to do is ask—and He longs to hear you ask so that He can forgive you.
And it gets even better. Not only does Jesus forgive; the Bible says He forgets. “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
Incredible! He forgives, He forgets, and then He even goes a step further—He makes you new.
2 Jesus can help you live a better life
No conversion story is closer to my heart than that of my dad. I was ten years old at the time, but the memory of the event hasn’t faded much.
Dad was very successful. He thought he had everything he needed to be happy. But one night, after returning home from a party, he told Mom that he felt something was missing, and he started reading a Bible that a relative had “accidentally” left at our house. He would read late into the night after all of us were asleep and again when he awakened in the morning. He even glanced at it while driving to work! Each night after dinner he sat in his favorite chair and read.