[Note: This week I will be chronicling the events of Holy Week with a short devotion each day.]
Resurrection Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week. The resurrection of Jesus is the pivotal truth of the Christian faith!
As the sun rose, several women went to Jesus’ tomb, only to find that the stone had been rolled away. “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:5–6, NIV84)
Our resurrected Lord has a busy day that first Easter. After defeating death itself, he made five appearances to his friends. Mary Magdalen was first, then to Peter, then to the two disciples walking the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, then to the company of disciples (except for Thomas).
These appearances are important – they were proof of a resurrection! The Lord would appear to many more people before his ascension – including 500 at once (see 1 Cor. 15:6).
Many years later, John (now an old man) saw Jesus again. Here’s how the Lord described himself: “…Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:17–18, NIV84)
It happened at Easter. I have visited the tombs of Lenin in Moscow and Mao in Beijing. They are still dead. So is Muhammad, Buddha, and Krishna.
Jesus’ tomb remains empty. Jesus lives!