“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24.2-3
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance a : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, b and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” 1 Corinthians 15.3-7
Easter. It’s arguably the best day on the Christian calendar besides Christmas. Easter, the culmination of Lent, the apex of our Christian faith when Jesus, who was put on the cross and dropped in a borrowed grave for the sins of the world, came a live again. It’s really too good to be true.
Yet as I write this it’s not Easter morning. It’s only our fifth entry into the ABC’s of Lent but it’s what we are working towards, living for, anticipating with a hope and joy. Yet it falls on day five for the purpose of convenience and I’m glad it did. For it’s never too early to celebrate Easter in our hearts, minds and souls.
These two accounts of the resurrection from Luke 24 and 1 Corinthians 15 are key scriptures to helping us understand what happened. In Luke we are told the stone was rolled away, and when they entered, this is referring to the women who came to the tomb — Jesus’ body was not found. It was truly a shock! They had no understanding what was going to happen.
And 1 Corinthians 15 reads like a perfect summation of the events of the resurrection—“Christ died, he was buried, and was raised again on the third day according to the Scriptures…he appeared to Peter, the twelve…then to more than five hundred at the same time…then to James and all the apostles,“ and finally to Paul the one writing this account.
The resurrection did not happen in isolation. Jesus had no social media platforms in which to broadcast his good news of God’s salvation. It was word of mouth and he began it all by appearing to the key leaders and then to existing believers after he had been raised from the dead.
This is Easter. The promise that Christ overcame the cross, was raised to new life that we might share in this redemption. And this is good news!
“O Lord God, to retell your story is so exciting. To remember the events of your trial, so difficult but so freeing. Thank you for taking upon yourself my sins and for dying for my sake. Thank you that a message that is two thousand years old still has power today. For you are a live. Your Spirit reigns in this world and rules inside of me. I praise you Lord and glorify your name. Thank you for Lent and the journey towards Easter. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen