Happy Resurrection Sunday! As Christians, we celebrate this day as the day the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death and making way for our salvation! Praise God for that.
This year, Jewish people are also celebrating Passover Week during our Resurrection celebration. Passover began Monday evening (April 10, 2017), and the celebration will continue through this coming Monday evening for Jews living in Israel, and until Tuesday evening for those in diaspora.
The two celebrations (Passover and Resurrection Sunday), though rich in Biblical truth are observed differently. For Jews, Passover is the celebration of being set free from Egyptian slavery…yet, for the most part, they miss the truth that we all need to be set free from spiritual slavery!
Christians celebrate Resurrection Sunday as the day Jesus set us free from the bonds of sin through His death, burial, and resurrection! Jesus fulfilled the Passover, and extends saving grace to Gentiles! Praise God!
I have been to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, the place where Jesus was laid following His crucifixion. The picture above is that tomb. But the Bible teaches us that Jesus defeated death when He rose from the grave on the third day.
The apostle John records an interesting account. Please read John 20:1-9. There, we find Mary Magdalene going to the tomb before sunrise to anoint the body of Jesus (as was custom in those days). However, when she arrived, the stone was rolled away and she quickly reported to Simon Peter that someone had stolen Jesus!
That resulted in a race to the tomb! Peter and John went running, and John reached the tomb first. He looked in, saw the linen cloths lying there, but did not go in. Peter, on the other hand, burst right into the tomb when he got there! He saw the linen cloth, and then the face cloth folded up neatly and lying to the side.
Then, in verse 8, we read that John entered the tomb after Peter did, and that he SAW and BELIEVED. Before, the disciples didn’t understand what Jesus had said about rising from the dead, but now it was visible!
Notice the contrast, and consider your own life. Though John arrived first, he did not enter. Peter, on the other hand, bolted right in! For some, we hear the Gospel of salvation and we enter in with great trust, not really knowing what it all means. For others, we stop to contemplate what we have heard, then we enter in, perhaps with “less trust,” but greater understanding.
Either way, the key is that we enter in! Both Peter and John entered the tomb that day, and each saw the visible evidence of Jesus’s resurrection. Have you been brought near, but are yet to enter in? Perhaps you’ve heard the Gospel message…the good news of Jesus Christ and the salvation He brings…but you have not yet exercised the trust (otherwise known as faith) necessary to enter into salvation.
The Bible says that today is the day of salvation! (2 Corinthians 6:2) We are all sinful people, and God has faithfully told the whole world to repent (Mark 6:12; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 3:19-21; Acts 17:30-31). That means to turn from sin and embrace Christ…the Savior of the world.
Every person will spend eternity somewhere…heaven or hell. Hell is a real place, and it will be eternal suffering, of which we cannot even fathom. Come spend eternity with us in heaven!
Though a stone once covered the entrance of the tomb, it is no longer there today. Instead, here is the sign on the modern-day door:
Hallelujah…He is risen indeed!