“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it” (Matthew 28:2).
What a glorious morning dawned upon humanity when Jesus rose from the dead! The grave of Jesus was sealed by Pilate, the Roman Governor. He ordered that a battalion of Roman soldiers should watch and ensure that the grave [was] not tampered with. But the angel of the Lord came and rolled away the stone from the mouth of the grave. The Lord Jesus rose again from the grave!
There is only one empty grave in all of history. Just imagine the wonder of it. People venerate the graves of prophets and others. I don’t know what good they get by worshipping graves. But we don’t have any grave to worship nor do we have any dead body to venerate. We have the living Christ—the Risen Saviour! He is the resurrection and the life.
Nobody wanted resurrection. Oh, Jesus became a threat to them. They thought their religion [would] disappear. They said: “Here is one who is demonstrating holiness. We are not like Him. We can’t have this, we must kill Him. We must bury Him.” They put the seal of Pilate and thought that was the end of Jesus. Vain was the seal and vain was the watch! Jesus rose again! After He rose again, He appeared to His disciples.
St. Paul describes this miracle in this way in Ephesians 2:5-6: “Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ . . . [a]nd hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. What does the resurrection of Jesus do to us? When I trusted in Jesus, when I turned away from all other idols, a miracle took place and a new life came into me and Christ began to manifest Himself in my life. When I turned to Jesus, I was a student. I had my own battles. I needed a Saviour who is real. Here the Bible says that He has raised us up together with Christ. We become a partaker in His resurrection.
Many people don’t know what baptism is. They think that it is a little ceremony. No, it is an inward experience and an outward testimony, i.e., I died to my own life and with Christ I have been buried. When a person goes under the water in baptism, his life is buried with Christ. When he rises up from the water, it means he has risen with Christ. That is the figure. This has to be manifest in your life. Otherwise it is a nominal thing.
St. Paul says that Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). This is an unmistakable and incontrovertible sign which does not belong to man—the spirit of holiness. Jesus is the sinless Saviour. Nowhere will you find such a person. No prophet is fit to even touch the bootlaces of Jesus. India is full of temples and they have taken this idolatry into the West and into North America. They are building their Hindu temples in those countries and having all these festivals there too. What is missing? Holiness is missing. They get drunk at these festivals and they jump before some idols. The spirit of holiness is not there.
Jesus rose again from the dead and after His resurrection, He not only moved with His disciples, but He told them: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). Yes, He is the God of all power, truth and grace. He is our Risen Saviour who is alive today. He wants to save everyone who comes to Him. He says: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). In this restless world, Jesus gives His peace to everyone who turns to Him. He is the Risen Saviour!
I continually go to this Saviour. As long as He gives me breath, I will serve Him. . . . What a Saviour! If you say you are a Christian, you have to show forth Jesus in your life. I want to be like Jesus. I want to have those wonderful thoughts. I want to have His wonderful touch. He is the risen Christ! He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
When you and I say we are followers of Jesus, we have to show that like everybody else Jesus has not died and His body corrupted, but He is alive today. You must be able to challenge people saying: “Watch my life and you can see that Jesus is alive today. My Saviour is living within my heart.” We must prove the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus in our lives. We must walk close to the Risen Saviour and be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”. May the Risen Saviour help us!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon