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 puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, â€œWhy do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised.â€
Scripture goes on to tell us:
Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the othersâ€¦ but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them.
The disciples we incredulous at news of Jesus being risen, and much of the world is incredulous to this day.
If we look at Jesus with human reasoning alone we can make a very strong case that all of this is too incredible to believe.
We do not have the benefit of being among the women who entered the empty tomb, who had the advantage of an explanation from dazzling angels. We do not have the benefit of being in the company of Peter and John as they ran to find an empty tomb. We do not have the privilege of walking along the road to Emmaus with Jesus and having Him reveal Himself in the breaking of the bread. Yet we have the eyes of faith.
Here we are, looking at an empty tomb and hearing the words of the resurrection proclaimed and sung. Here we are, having rushed to church this morning to see the empty tomb. Here we are, to share in the breaking of the bread, and to recognize the reality of the Lord among us.
We arenâ€™t incredulous. We are here, this morning for two important reasons. The first is that we have received the gift of faith. The second is that we continue live, see, and respond because of faith that He is truly risen.
We value the gift of faith â€“ faith in a God that loves us enough that He would sacrifice His Sonâ€™s life so that we might have eternal life. Faith that this Christ was more than a prophet, more than a wise man, more than good teacher, but God Himself that came among us, died for us, and because of His obedience to the Father was raised again â€“ showing us our glorious destiny.
Many cannot believe it. If they hear, â€˜Christ is risen!â€™ they respond, â€˜No way!â€™ They remain incredulous. Our faith is foolishness to them.
For us, a people living in faith, the ancient greeting of Easter, the greeting we proclaim to each other is Christ is risen! to which we all reply, He is truly risen!