By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist
The tomb is empty! The stone has been rolled away, not so Jesus could get out, but so the scoffers could get in to see that Jesus arose.
He is risen. It’s music to our ears. Our sins have been nailed to the cross, and the precious blood of Jesus has canceled our debts. We have been redeemed. Our freedom was bought with an immeasurable price. Jesus thought you and I were worth it.
Ring the bells. Shout it from the rooftops. It’s the glorious news of the ages. The enemy has been defeated.
It’s hard to imagine the cruel torture that Jesus endured. In Israel, olive oil is very precious and is used extensively. To obtain oil from the olive requires intensive pressure. The olive is put into a press and squeezed until the oil is released.
In a sense, Jesus endured that same pressure. He knew the horrendous pain awaiting him, yet he went to the cross anyway.
On the cross, air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. Jesus had to fight to raise his body in order to get out a very small breath. Limitless hours of pain, cramps and asphyxiation caused a compression of his heart. Can you fathom it? Jesus endured a torturous death.
This world will never be the same. From this moment, death forever has to bow its knees to “The Perfect Lamb.”
No other incident in human history can fill the believer with so much hope and confidence.
The resurrection is the tenant of our faith. It is God’s receipt that Jesus’ death is sufficient payment for our sins. God has forgiven his people: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV).
No matter how hard or impossible our situation, we never give up because Jesus never gives up on us. Because of the resurrection, we have the hope of being with Jesus forever. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead resides in his believers. Even at death’s door, the assurance of the resurrection gives triumph and victory.
The message of the resurrection gives confidence for today and hope for tomorrow. It gives strength through life’s temporary trials, knowing that because of Jesus’ resurrection, those who love him will live forever in eternal bliss.
Oh, it’s just too wonderful. Is it not the most exciting news of all time? Jesus won the battle victoriously.
Look by faith today into the empty tomb and know the power of the resurrection.
The coming of Jesus was prophesied centuries before Jesus was born. Psalm 22:16 is just one of those: “Dogs have surrounded me, a band of evil men has encircled me; they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” (NIV)
May we have the faith of children as mentioned in Luke 18:16: “For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (NIV)
Our youngest granddaughter is 17 now, but when she was 7, she wrote about her deepest faith concerning the resurrection:
“As I watch the cross, I shed my tears. I should have been there on the cross. As the crown of thorns sat on his head, I shudder. As they gamble for his clothes, my heart feels heavy. As they pierced his side, I cry. After that there is no more to see. I walk home wondering what life is worth living for. In a few days, I know what life is worth living for!
He is risen!
He is risen indeed!”