The tomb is empty. Either the supporters or enemies of Jesus have come and taken the body, or He is risen. These questions and the empty tomb stand as an objective hallmark of the kingdom of God and the work of Jesus as was predicted.
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:111-18.
Last week we concluded that death could not hold Jesus. Peter would shortly preach: 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:24. The stone rolled away was only a visual evidence of the reality of the empty tomb. The first of the faithful disciples – Mary – grieving and yet worshipping, discovered the empty tomb. Jesus resurrected but not yet ascended to heaven appeared to Mary with comfort and assurance and a message of hope for the her and the disciples.
But the resurrection was more than just a confirmation of the work of Jesus and God. It provided for both the disciples, and for us, an assurance of our faith and hope. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15:17-20.
In that sense, the resurrection is the golden hook upon which all of our faith relies. It is the confirmation not of a people who are to be pitied and are lost, but ones who are redeemed by Him who has defeated death. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[a] 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? I Cor 15:54-55.
To many a critic or doubter of Jesus and His work, the fulfillment of his life in the cross and resurrection stands as a immovable proof of the fact of the work of God through His Son.In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:1-3.
I hope these facts encourage you this week. Nothing better serves the faith and hope for those who have believed in and are following Jesus.