Steve Gaines

“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you'” (Matthew 28:5-7 NASB).

Springtime is here. Dogwoods and daffodils bloom as winter retreats and warmer days are welcomed.

Across America, churches will soon be packed on Easter Sunday.

Why?

Easter is about forgiveness and hope through a sacred death and an empty tomb. Easter is about the grimness of the grave being overcome. It is about Jesus Christ rising bodily, victoriously and eternally from the grave. Behold our resurrected Lord triumphantly displaying the keys to death, hell and the grave in His nail-scarred hands! No wonder Easter is the annual apex for all Christians.

No other religion dares to make such claims. Muslims readily admit that Muhammad is dead. Buddha and Confucius are also in the grave, as is Joseph Smith. But after Jesus died, He rose from the grave, never to die again.

The women who followed Jesus to Jerusalem from Galilee had gone to the tomb to properly anoint their Lord for burial. There they found an angel who gave them three significant commands:

The first command was “Do not be afraid” (v.5)

Those women came to the tomb wondering how they would remove the stone so they could anoint Jesus’ body (cf. Mark 16:1). But when they arrived, an angel had already rolled the stone away (cf. Matthew 28:2). Jesus was not there — He had risen! And because He had risen, there would never again be a valid reason for fear. As Bill Gaither’s song says, “Because He lives, all fear is gone.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Steve Gaines