BY MARK WHITTEMORE
Pequot Lakes Baptist Church Pastor
There was nothing that Satan or his demons could do to prevent the resurrection from happening. What must have seemed to be the ultimate victory on Friday now could only be seen as a moment in time, for the open, empty tomb of Jesus signified that the battle was over and Christ had won the victory for Adam’s fallen seed, for you and me!
For a few brief minutes, I want us to think about a few of the characters that were involved in the scenes of the morning found in the biblical account and how they responded to the Resurrection!
The angels: When Christ hung on the cross on Friday, I imagine that the darkness that covered the earth, also cast its shadow over the hosts of heaven as they watch the Son of God die. BUT! I can also imagine the adulation when Christ rose from the dead! Can you imagine how the angel must have felt when he was given the order to move the stone from in front of the tomb?! That which we were told was “sealed” by man, was now rocked by an earthquake, due to the presence of this angel of the Lord! The stone was removed, rolled away and the glorified and resurrected Christ came forth! Imagine how this one would have felt having beheld the Lambs glory before His incarnation, and now, to behold the Lamb in His resurrection glory. Truly this angelic being must have rejoiced exceedingly as Christ came from the tomb! I believe this messenger could not wait to tell of the good news of the resurrection.
The guards and religious leaders: It is interesting to note that those who first heard the report of the Roman soldiers did not question the “veracity of their report, but called the Sanhedrin.” The story contrived to explain the event was that the disciples came and took the body at night while the guard slept! PROBLEMS: 1. It took a large sum of money to silence the soldiers from telling their story. What they could tell undermined all that the leaders had sought to say about Jesus! 2. How could they have known that the disciples came and took the body if they were asleep?! 3. A soldier asleep at his post was punishable by death! The leaders convinced them they would take care of the governor if he should hear of the story. 4. Does it seem realistic to believe that a group that had fled in fright a few nights earlier would now come and challenge a Roman guard? 5. Why would the women have returned to the tomb in the morning if the body had been stolen the night before by the disciples? Surely they would have known of such an undertaking. 6. Could the disciples have kept such an act secret? Would they have gone to their deaths for a “Savior” they knew to be dead and buried somewhere else? (I think someone, somewhere would have slipped!)
The bottom line for the religious leaders is that any reason to deny who Christ was, was good enough! They absolutely did not want to recognize Jesus for who He was. Consequently, they destined themselves and many others to eternal separation from God!
Our response: What is our response to the resurrection of Jesus! Are we like the angels of the Lord? Is it our delight to proclaim the message of the glorious resurrection? Is it something that we can’t wait to proclaim? Or are we like the Roman soldiers? Have we been silenced by the “Hush Money” offered by the world to keep one silent about the resurrected Lord? Or are we like the religious leaders? Do we flatly deny Jesus and the power of His resurrection because we feel He threatens our position, power, and security?
I would pray today that we would understand that we have everything in the resurrected Lord and nothing without Him! May we be like those of the Lord from the angelic realm, and proclaim with great excitement, “He is not here, He is risen!”