Jesus is the resurrection and the life

The joyful message of Easter is “The Lord is risen!” On the third day after Jesus died the women went to the tomb early in the morning, just before sunrise. They had bought spices and were going to anoint Jesus’ body. As they walked, they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

When they arrived at the tomb, however, they saw that the very large stone had already been rolled away from the entrance. They went into the tomb but did not see Jesus’ body. Two men, in clothes that gleamed like lightning, appeared to them and asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, he has risen!” The women ran to tell Jesus’ disciples the news, but they did not believe them. Later in the day Jesus appeared to the disciples personally. Then they knew that he really had been raised from the dead.

The resurrection transformed Jesus’ disciples. They were devastated when they saw him condemned and crucified. They saw the body of the One who was so full of life, and who brought blessing to so many, hanging lifeless on the cross. They were broken-hearted. The hopes Jesus had kindled in them died when he died, but when they saw their risen Lord, their hope returned with new reality and power. Jesus sent them out to proclaim to all people the good news that he had died for our sins and been raised again to give us a living hope. The lives of countless people, from all nations, have been transformed as they have believed in the risen Jesus.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to a Thanksgiving Service for the life of a dear friend who has died from cancer. She was first diagnosed with cancer more than 10 years ago and had undergone major surgery and courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. She was always bright and thankful and encouraging to everyone she met. She and her husband have spent their lives communicating the good news of Jesus through the internet to people living in countries where this good news cannot be proclaimed feely. She wanted people everywhere to know that Jesus is the resurrection and the life and that those who believe in him will live, even though they die. At the Thanksgiving Service we were sad at the loss of a dear friend but were also full of joy because she is now in heaven with her Lord, and all is well.