The angels said to the women: “Remember how He told you, while He was still in
Remember what was said: that was the message of the angels to the women at the tomb. It is also the message for you, why you are here. You have come to hear again what was said about and by the Christ. The prophecy was given many, many times: the Christ would appear on earth to bring salvation. He would come to rectify what was wrong with this world, to make up for every fault, every foible, every failing. The Christ appears to atone for the sin of Adam: “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” There would be a reversal of the death that plagued this creation, leading to renewal: a new heavens and a new earth.
This is what had been promised for centuries. The appearance of the Son of God on earth marked the beginning of this promise’s fulfillment. Remember what was said, what the shepherds and you heard on Christmas night: “Behold, unto you is born in the City of
Remember what He said. Remember His words that you have heard the past several weeks. He disclosed His mission: “Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish My course. Nevertheless, I must go on My way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from
Remember what He told you. That is the order of today. He foretold what He would accomplish and do. He left nothing a secret. Jesus said that He would give His life as a ransom for you. He was betrayed, so that you may be reconciled. He was condemned, so that you may be pardoned. Christ died, so that you may be spared eternal death. But there is more than His dying; there is the rising to life again. That is what Jesus promises: “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
So what do the women find on that third day? “On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” They go to the place of the Crucified Christ’s burial, but they do not find Him. They do not see Jesus’ body, and they are scolded for looking for it: “Why do you seek the Living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Everything is in order. The words of Christ have been fulfilled. He has risen on the third day, just as He said. What Jesus had foretold early in His ministry, even in
Today you have come to hear again the prophetic words about Christ—the words HE fulfilled: “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” But you have also come to hear the prophetic words about you, the promises that have a foundation because Christ fulfilled what was said about Himself. Because they have been made true, you have a great hope: “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a Man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Those prophetic words are about you. They have one premise: Christ must have risen from the dead for it to be so. That premise has been fulfilled: “[The women] found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” This is what you have come to hear again: “Why do you seek the Living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” You may hear and know that “Christ has been raised from the dead.” You may hear and know that “by a Man has come also the resurrection of the dead.” You may hear and know that “in Christ shall all be made alive.” These words are about you, and they stand true.
The apostle gives another saying for today: “If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” But you are not to be pitied; you need no one’s sympathy. You have not hoped in Christ in this life only. No, you have hoped in Christ as the source of life and resurrection. You do not have an empty hope or a wishful dream. Instead, you have the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the dead. You are banking on receiving the promises of the One who is powerful over death. Your trust and faith is placed in the Living One, the Holy One who did not see corruption.
With the psalmist, you may boast and take pride: “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.” Such a statement can be made because you always have your Lord beside you. He isn’t stuck in some tomb in
The resurrection of Christ gives you hope beyond this life. It brings you a new fate. It makes you a victorious people, not a bunch of pitiful victims and fools. Such a fate is always tied to the actions of Christ and belief in His words. Everlasting life is not a goal that you can achieve; it must be given to you. But a dead corpse lying in a tomb cannot help you. Everlasting life can only be given by One who Himself is living. But what do the angels say about Christ: “Why do you seek the Living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” As the Crucified and Risen Christ, Jesus can give you life. That is why His resurrection is the most important act to have ever taken place in this world’s history. Without it, you are most to be pitied.
But remember His words. Remember what He has told you: “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” The bold and audacious words that Jesus spoke about Himself actually have come true. And so, you may trust everything that He says about Himself. Even more so, you may trust the bold and audacious words that your Lord Jesus says about you: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” What the psalmist says is true about Jesus: “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” It is true because Jesus has risen from the dead. The Living One makes known to you the path to everlasting life—the path that He first traveled for you.
So hear again what He told you. Believe that your Lord is more than just an earthly guru or a coach for successful living. Such a measly hope is pointless: “If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” Your hope is in something much greater; the Living One is your Lord: “In Christ shall all be made alive. . . . He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” Remember what was said and what took place. Remember and trust the words of Christ, for they all stand true, especially the bold and audacious ones: “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” He has fulfilled the promises about Himself, and so He shall fulfill His promises made to you: even that you also shall rise from death and live with Him forever.
T In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.