Today is Easter Sunday! Resurrection Sunday!! A time to truly celebrate. Let’s read about what that morning was like when Mary discovered the Empty Tomb.
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” Luke 24:1-12
Overnight, the followers of Jesus went from the depths of despair to guarded hope, and then to incredible joy. Where are you on this scale? Peter had gone through the emotions of denying his best friend and the teacher he loved. He had seen Jesus die and all hope had died within him as well. Peter was in the depths of pain, despair, fear, and hopelessness. The disciples were in hiding since they could be facing the same fate of Jesus if they were recognized.
Then Mary came to them early on Sunday morning and said, “He is Risen!” They had a glimmer of hope. Peter ran and saw the empty tomb. He went away “wondering” with cautious hope. Later Jesus appeared in person to Peter and even cooked breakfast for him on the beach. That cautious hope turned to total joy. The disciples wrote down and documented their actual experiences of Jesus life, death, and resurrection in what we call the Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They did this so that we might have joy as well. How might Peter have described that feeling of total despair changed to joy? Perhaps the same way we can describe it today: I was lost, but now am found. I was guilty, but now I am forgiven, I was condemned but now I have been set free, I face death, but now I have hope through the victory of Jesus. He is Risen!
Prayer – Father it is Easter! The day that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Because he was a sacrifice for our sins, we can be forgiven and restored in fellowship with you. It was what we were created for. We were lost, and now we are found. We have died to sin and are alive in Christ. We can start living a new life in your kingdom, through your strength, love, and grace right now today. You accomplished the most amazing act of love the world has ever seen, and You did this for us. You did this for me. May we throw ourselves at your feet in worship, in love, and in joy! Jesus Christ has risen and we have new Hope and Joy in Him. Amen