November 9

Mark 15:42-47, 16:1-8; Matthew 27:57-66, 28:1-10; Luke 23:50-56, 24:1-12; John 19:38-42, 20:1-18

I have often tried to put myself in the shoes of those who were at the empty tomb. I’ve wondered what it was like for Jesus to look Satan in the eye after spending time in hell on Satan’s terms and say, “I win”, then disappear. I imagine Jesus opening his eyes in the darkness of that tomb and sighing a big sigh of relief. Did he high-five the angel who was there? Did he look to the heavens and say, “We did it, Dad!”?

Years ago Sandi Patti sang a song that captures the excitement that must have surrounded the moment when Jesus rose from the dead.

“Did the grass sing? Did the earth rejoice to feel you again?
Over and over in a never-ending round, did the earth seem to pound, “He is risen!”?
Over and over like a trumpet underground: He is risen! Halleluiah!!

What was is like for Mary when the risen Jesus spoke her name? For Peter to rush into that tomb and see the linens neatly folded and Jesus gone? For the guards when they witnessed first hand the earthquake, the angel. Did they watch Jesus walk out of the tomb?

Jesus is alive. Look at your own hands and feet. See your reflection in the mirror. Jesus is as alive as you are. Not a ghost. A man with fingers and toes, hands with nail prints and a wound in his side.

He is alive. There were no mirrors or sleeping drugs. He didn’t play the most elaborate vanishing act ever performed. Jesus died. There were hundreds of witnesses to his tortuous death. He was buried. Guards stood watch at his grave.

Jesus went to hell so I wouldn’t have to. And when my debt was paid he lived again and lives still today.

Years ago I did an activity with my students to help them with their listening and speaking skills. They would ask a partner a list of questions and talk to them about their answers. One of the questions was, “What is your favorite holiday?” Whenever I had the opportunity to be paired with a student I would always answer that question with, “Easter”. And if a child would ask me why I would say something like, “Jesus is alive. No other religion has a God who died for them, who went to hell because he loved us, and who rose from the dead. Jesus is the only one EVER and it’s so precious to celebrate what he did for me.”

What about you? Do you know the risen Savior? Have you accepted what he did for you? Does Jesus live within you today because you have asked him to and have repented of your sin? I trust so.

Jesus is alive. You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart!!!

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