“He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come see the place where He lay.”
– Matthew 28:6
Is that not one of the most incredible verses in all the Bible, this angel speaking to the women here at the tomb who’ve come in mourning for His death. And this angel says He’s not here. He has risen just like He told you, come look. There’s nobody here.
Matthew 28:6 Is an Account of the Resurrection of Jesus
I remember the only time I’ve been to the Holy Land was on a mission trip. We were doing a variety of work in some different places in Israel and Palestine, and along the way we went to a few of the sites. And I remember going to one of the sites that they think is where Jesus’ tomb was. And the tour guide who is there, he just smiled.
He was like, “I don’t know why you came all the way over here. There’s nothing to see here”. And it was just a good reminder that that is the beauty of the Gospel message. There’s nothing to see. There is no body there. He’s gone. And that was the point in Matthew chapter 28. He’s not here. He’s risen, He’s gone. You can see where He was, but He is not there anymore because death did not hold on to Him because He is alive.
And it’s hard to imagine what went through the minds of these women. Mary hears this and looks, and there’s nobody there anymore. And she realizes what He said was true. He’s risen from the dead. And this is the greatest news in all the world. Death has been defeated. Jesus has conquered the grave. So I think about memorial service for Clint Clifton that I went to last week. Death has defeated Clint, though he dies, he lives.
Matthew 28:6 Reminds Us that Death is Defeated
And I think about the same for my dad. I think about the same for every saint who’s gone before me and you, who’s put their trust in the death conquering king, that though they died, they live. And the same is true for you and me, for all who trust in Jesus. That when we die, we live. That death no longer has mastery over Jesus and death does not have mastery over us. That to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Jesus has taken the very worst thing that could happen to us, and He has turned into the best thing that could happen to us. He’s not here for He has risen. Jesus, we praise you for your resurrection from the grave. We join our hearts right now to say in a fresh way, in this moment, all glory be to your name, the risen king, the death conquering king.
We praise you that when we go visit the Holy Land, there is nothing to see because you rose from the dead, walked among your disciples, your followers then ascended into heaven and sent your spirit so that you are walking today in the lives of your people, in the Holy Land, in every single place where we find ourselves right now, that it’s not just a place where you once walked, that you are walking now, you are working in our lives, through our lives. So we say yes today, have your way in our lives. Lead us. Guide us by your spirit, our ascended death conquering king, lead, guide, direct us for your glory, for the spread of this good news. God, please help us to tell somebody today that death has been defeated and that life is possible in Jesus forever.
Praying for the Unreached
And God, we pray that you would use our lives and our families and our churches to make this good news known among all the nations, among all the peoples of the world.
God, we pray that Somalis would know this, that North Koreans would know this. We pray that Berbers of Morocco would know this. God, we pray that all the unreached, almost untouched tribes of the Amazon would know this. God, we pray that the good news that you have raised Jesus from the dead would spread to all the peoples of the world. And you would use our lives toward that end that we might be able to share this good news like the angel did in Matthew chapter 28:6. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.