“He isn’t here…”
Can you imagine?
A lonely, broken group of women walking along a dark road early one Sunday morning. Sobbing, hearts crushed under the weight of sadness at the loss of their teacher, their dear friend.
They had spent hours with him. Listening to him, learning from him, loving him and being loved by him. They followed him and watched him doing the great and mighty – healing the sick and paralyzed, giving blind men sight and calling his friend from death to life. They had seen him humble – loving the unlovable, the broken and cast-aside, taking time to let a little child sit on his lap, and tenderly caring for those who came to him. But now he was gone.
They didn’t know where to go next, what to do, or who to turn to. And yet they walked to his tomb. In the darkness of early morning they huddled together, supporting each other in their grief, getting ready to prepare his broken and battered body for burial.
“He isn’t here…”
I don’t think I’ve ever absorbed the enormity of that moment for those women. To approach with such enormous sadness and to be met with those three words.
“He isn’t here…
He is risen from the dead…”
In the span of just a few minutes they moved from the hopeless finality of death to the joy of resurrection life.
Can you imagine?
“…Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!…” Luke 24:5-6 NLT
With those words the pronouncement was made that death had been defeated. The power of God had raised Jesus from the dead and and declared victory over sin, hell and the grave.
And here’s the best part. That power? That incredible death-to-life moment that lifted the hearts of those broken women making their way to a tomb on a dark Sunday morning? That, dear sister, is for you, too. It wasn’t just a one-time deal. Paul explains this so beautifully in his letter to the Ephesians:
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe in him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honour at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT
That ‘same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead,” is the same power that moves us from hopelessness to resurrection life. From bondage in sin to freedom in Christ. From being cut off from the very relationship for which we were created to being a loved and cherished child of Almighty God. This resurrection power is our promise for the next life and our anchor in this one.
Jesus’ death and resurrection makes it possible for us to know God where before our sin separated us from him. To experience the fullness and freedom and all-encompassing true wellness that comes with living in relationship with our Creator.
For us who are broken-hearted, hopeless and weary, “He is risen from the dead.”
For us who are held in bondage or stuck in the cycle of fear or anxiety, “He is risen from the dead.”
For us who are lonely, “He is risen from the dead.”
For us who are searching, “He is risen from the dead.”
My prayer for you today is twofold:
First, that you would know the overwhelming beauty of the hope of resurrection. That Jesus is alive.
And secondly, from Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians:
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:16-20 NLT
“He isn’t here…He is risen from the dead.”