On Easter Sunday we celebrate His rising from the dead and all of us should know the wonderful story of that remarkable event.
It was early on Sunday morning. Deep darkness still hung over the holy city, Jerusalem. Mary of Magdala entered the garden and approached the tomb where the body of Jesus of Nazareth recently had been laid. Just two days before, the humble Christ, hanging from a wooden cross, had given up his life, and mortality had ended for the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh.
Peter, the chief Apostle, and John, the beloved Apostle, hurried to the place of burial. The account of Mary was confirmed. The tomb was indeed empty, except for the linens which had been used to wrap the body. Saddened, the two Apostles went away to their own homes.
Still weeping, Mary turned from the tomb, and through her misty eyes she noticed someone standing close by. The person spoke to her, “Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?” Thinking that perhaps it was the gardener who addressed her, she replied, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away” (John 20:15).
In a voice tinctured with pure love and the sweetest tenderness, he simply uttered one word, “Mary.” There was no mistaking the voice; it was Jesus Christ. And thrilled beyond any comprehension, the dear woman could only say, “Rabboni,” which means Master.
There He stood—alive! Raised from the dead! Never to die again! His perfect body forever united with the spirit, the eternal Christ!
To the credit of gentle, loving women everywhere, our Redeemer chose as the first mortal witness of His resurrection from the dead a woman, Mary Magdalene.
As we contemplate the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ, we tend to grieve for the awful sufferings which He experienced at the hands of wicked men—the terrible rending by the lash, the dreadful nails placed in His hands and feet, the prolonged agony of the cross, and finally His tender heart breaking for the sins of all men.
But stop! He is not dead! His is risen! He is the first fruit of the resurrection. Without Him, life for all men would end at death. All would be consigned to the grave forever. But because of Him, our Savior, even Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, we, every one of us, will live again—freed from the everlasting chains of death.
As we celebrate Easter, will you remember the story of Jesus coming out of the grave a perfect, glorified being? Will you remember that He made it possible for all of us to someday be resurrected and to come back and live with Him in the celestial kingdom of God throughout all eternity? Then if you will remember, you will understand His love for all of us, and your love for Him will grow deeper and deeper forever.