Scripture: 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 20:18
Do you like mystery stories? Linda loves watching the old black and white “Perry Mason.” Every night on our 60’ HDTV we watch these old black and white reruns. If Perry Mason would have ever had a show on the resurrection of Jesus, it would have been called, "The Case of the Empty Tomb."
In the Bible we read this story. The day begins very early in the morning on the first day of the week. Jesus had just been crucified and buried. Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' followers, went to the tomb where Jesus was buried. When she got there, she saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Peter and John and said to them, "They have taken the Lord's body from the tomb and I don't know where they have put him."
Peter and John raced to the tomb. John got there first. He looked in the tomb and saw the linen wrappings lying there. Then Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linens that John had seen lying there. As he investigated further, he saw the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was also folded and lying apart from the other wrappings. After Peter looked around for a few minutes, John joined him inside. When they were sure that the tomb was empty, they left and went home.
Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she looked inside the tomb and saw two angels sitting there. One of them was sitting at the head and the other at the foot where the body of Jesus had been lying. "Why are you crying?" the angels asked.
Mary said, "Because they have taken my Lord and I don't know where they have put him.”
Then Mary turned and was about to leave when she saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize him. Jesus asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
Mary, thinking that he was a gardener said, "Sir, if you have taken my master away, tell me where he is so that I can go to him."
Jesus said, "Mary!"
When Jesus spoke her name, Mary knew who He was. She turned to him and cried out, "Teacher!"
Jesus said, "Don't cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go and tell my brothers that you have seen me and that I am going to return to my Father and your Father, my God and your God."
Mary found the disciples and told them, "I have seen the Lord." Then she gave them the message that Jesus had told her to tell them.
And that solves "The Case of the Empty Tomb." The tomb is empty because Jesus is not dead, he is alive! He is risen just as he said!
Now there is one more thing. Easter is not only concerned about God’s victory over physical death, but Easter is also concerned about God’s victory over spiritual death. God raises up both dead bodies and dead spirits.
God raises spiritually dead people to life all the time, and I have seen it again and again. This is also what Easter is all about.
The Easter message is that the awesome power of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, can miraculously take your dead life and mine and make it alive. God can take people who are spiritually dead and give them resurrection power, Easter power, so that life is lived with a passion for the ways of God.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever lives and believes in me, shall never die.” … Jesus is alive! And you can be too!
The empty tomb is no mystery to us. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
(Lloyd Blanton is CEO and Director of FreedomWay Ministries, a faith-based service, in Cleburne County.)