Day 49

Easter Sunday

from the reading plan

Matthew 28:1-20

Jesus Christ is risen! He now sits enthroned at the right hand of God where He will rule forever, world without end. This is unimaginably good news.

Early on that first Easter morning some of Jesus’ friends, a small group of women, set out to His grave to anoint His body. It was a sad, intimate act because they loved Him and they missed Him. But when they arrived, they were greeted by “a man dressed in lightning” who told them Jesus was not there. He had risen, as He said He would (Matthew 28:6).

This angelic visit mirrors when the angel appeared to the shepherds outside Bethlehem in the nativity story. To those shepherds, the angel came to announce that Jesus had come to them. To the women at the tomb, the angel comes to tell them Jesus has left them—but that He would appear again to them soon. His life, death, and resurrection had changed the world in irreversible ways.

Jesus’ resurrection opened a door between the fallen, groaning world—into which He was born—and the renewal of all things. That door was a stone rolled back by the very finger of God from the mouth of a grave outside of Jerusalem. Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son, present at creation, came in the flesh to be the mediator between God and man. He lived the life of perfect righteousness that all men have failed to live. He died as a lamb led to the slaughter, offering Himself up as the perfect sacrifice to atone for the sins of the world, once and for all. He rose from the grave defeating death itself. Bearing all authority in heaven and on earth, He now lives as the appointed heir of all things.

If Jesus has not risen, those who trust in Him are to be pitied because our hope extends no further than our own wishful thinking (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). Our faith is futile, and we remain in our sins. But if Jesus has risen, then His followers are born into a new hope because just as death entered the world through one man, Adam, now resurrection has done the same through the incarnate Son of God, who has prevailed over the power of the curse. The last enemy, death itself, has been destroyed. Jesus offers life in His name.

The point of the cross was not for Jesus to die, but to die and rise again, defeating the power of sin and death. And this is just what He did. Easter morning’s empty tomb says of Jesus, “He meant to lay down His life for you! And as sure as He has taken it up again, He will raise His people too!”

Jesus Christ is risen, just as He said. Hope has come, and salvation has been accomplished through His life, death, and resurrection. In Him, you lack nothing.

Happy Easter.

Written by Russ Ramsey

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