(I have been very sick and so I didn't get this posted Sunday morning, but the event is too important so here it is.)
While soldiers guarded the sepulcher in which the body of Jesus Christ lay, the earth violently shook, two angels descended from heaven, rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. Overcome with fear the soldiers fell to the ground as if dead.
|"Holy Women Near the Tomb" by Maurice Denis|
At the invitation of the angels the women then looked inside the sepulcher and when they had seen that it was empty the angels instructed them to go tell Peter and the disciples that the Lord had risen. The women returned quickly and told all they had seen. But most of the men took it as idle talk and refused to believe the women.
However, Peter and John hurried to the sepulcher and when they arrived Peter stooped down to look inside and saw that the linen clothes were lying undisturbed, but the napkin which had been about Jesus’ head was folded in a place by itself. The sight must have startled him. If the body had been stolen the linen would have been taken with the body or at least strewn about the room in disarray, but instead it lay where it had been and the napkin neatly folded. What could it mean? Perplexed Peter and John returned to their homes.
Overcome with sorrow, Mary stayed in the garden, and still weeping, peered inside the tomb one more time. There she saw the two angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain. Seeing her sorrow, one said to her, “Woman, why weepest thou?” (John 20:13.
|"Jesus Appears to Mary" by Gregg Olsen|
As she spoke, she turned back and saw Jesus standing in the garden, but with tears filling her eyes she didn’t recognize Him. “Why weepest thou?” he asked her.
Thinking He was the gardener she begged of Him, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”
Jesus responded, “Mary,” and at the sound of the familiar voice calling her name her grief turned instantly to joy and she cried, “My great Master.”
“Hold me not,” Jesus cautioned, “for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (John 20:17).
Mary did as instructed and thus dawned the greatest day in the history of the world. Many mighty miracles followed as graves opened and the resurrected bodies of the saints came forth to minister to believers.
Jesus also appeared to many other people and the world rejoiced in the fact that the great enemies of life, spiritual and physical death, had been defeated. Because He loved us so much, Jesus Christ saved us.
He is risen!
He is risen!