“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay,” (Matthew 28:5-6).
He told them. He told them multiple times. Yet, somehow they didn’t understand. It seems so obvious to these eyes that have read the story hundreds of times. How could they not have known? He told them, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised,” (Luke 9:22).
It’s easy to shake my head at the disciples. But I have to ask myself, “Would I have understood? Would I have believed?”
I can only imagine how the words of Jesus must have flooded their minds when the angel rolled the stone away. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. With widened eyes and racing minds I bet the pieces came together. It all then made sense. Yes, he did tell us! This is as he said. And we know that all he says is true.
Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint of His nature. Just as God is Yahweh, the great I AM, so is Jesus. As God must act in accordance with His character, so must the Son. And just as there is no deceit in the God who faithfully keeps all of His promises, so it is with our Savior. We can trust the words of Jesus who is himself the Word.
Consider then his statement in John 11:25: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” This is absolute truth and the source of our joy! These words proclaim we have an eternal hope; for we know that those who receive Christ are hidden in him (Colossians 3:3). This means that his defeat of death has become our defeat of death; as Jesus has conquered the grave, we have become more than conquerors (Romans 8:37); and just as he has risen, so we have been raised to new life (Romans 6:4). The empty tomb is the guarantee that even death cannot keep us from life.
And still I, like the disciples, must ask myself, “Do I believe all his words?” Do I believe the things yet to be seen?” For Jesus also spoke these words, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2); and “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done,” (Revelation 22:12).
In light of the empty tomb my answer is a resounding “Yes!” For I know that I serve a living Savior. As the Apostle Peter said, we have “a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4). These words affirm the words of Jesus himself. And I have no doubt that all will be just as he said.