"God of the Resurrection"
Not long ago I stood outside of the tomb where the body of Jesus was laid after His crucifixion. I didn't go inside like those around me did. Instead I peered into the dark place and watched as person after person entered, each reacting differently. One kneeled and prayed, another wept, while others stood in silence. Everyone was taking in the reality of this place. We had all read about the empty tomb, but to actually be there was surreal.
My mind seemed to move in slow motion. This was the place where the Majestic Creator, who inhabited flesh, was laid after being viciously slain. Those who loved Him then wrapped His body in fragrant ointment, aloe, and linen cloths. This was the body of the Savior who only did good. The Savior who loved all people unconditionally and brought healing supernaturally. There is such a mystery as to why salvation had to be obtained this way. Yet, there is no clearer picture of righteousness confronting unrighteousness and defeating it. Tears filled my eyes.
Thousands of years ago another woman, Mary Magdalene, stood where I stood. She did the same thing that I did. As others entered, she peered inside. The body of Jesus was gone and she saw that only the linen cloth remained. When everyone else left, she stayed. Looking in, she must have blinked in amazement as two angels appeared. I wonder if she was confused? Bewildered? Were her thoughts coming quickly or in slow motion? She had walked with Jesus and watched all of the miracles He had done. She herself was one of His miracles. She was a sinner who had been possessed by several demons, and He delivered her. Outside of the tomb that day, she wept.
The angels asked her why she was crying. She answered, “because someone has taken Jesus and I don't know where”. Then a man walked up to her and asked the same question again. “Why are you crying?” She heard Him call her name. She recognized His voice and ran to Him. It was Jesus. He looked nothing like how she had last seen Him. He was perfectly whole.
I wonder why He chose to reveal Himself to Mary at that exact moment and in that exact way? Could it be that we are witnessing more of His promises being fulfilled? The promises that He is near to the brokenhearted and He will be found by those who seek Him? She was certainly both of those things. Oh, how faithful He is to those who are faithful to Him.
After I had taken all of these thoughts in, I turned and walked away with them. Although so much has changed since He walked out of that tomb, many things remain the same. He is the same Miracle-Worker, the same Promise-Keeper, the only Savior and Redeemer of souls. He is still near to the broken hearted and is found by those who wholeheartedly seek Him. He knows us by name. He still brings triumph from tragedy. It's because of the cross and the empty tomb that we can have eternal reconciliation with Him. Him, who is risen indeed!
Because He lives,
ARH Founder and Director