"He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.” Matthew 28:6
Can you imagine getting lots of presents for your birthday, and as you opened each gift the box or package was empty? What a disappointment that would be. I can imagine you being surprised and saying “They are empty!” Right then you would need a hug or some words of encouragement. For it is your special day.
Well that is what happened when the two Mary’s came to the tomb of Jesus. They were more than surprised to find the tomb empty. They must have also been terrified. The angel told them not to be afraid for Jesus was not there because He had risen. That was the most encouraging news that had ever been heard on earth. He had risen!
Everyone needs encouragement. But there is no encouragement that measures up to the encouragement that the Easter season brings. And to think this is based on fact not fiction!
There are four ways that Easter encourages us:
Our Faith Hasn’t Been Misplaced – The disciples had been with Jesus about three years. After walking with Him and seeing His miracles they accept Him as the Son of God. But when He was nailed to the cross, their faith crumbled for they thought it was the end of everything. However, He rose again on Sunday morning! His resurrection validated their belief in Him. When they saw their Lord alive, they knew that their faith hadn’t been misplaced.
Our Lord Hasn’t Forsaken Us – John said that the disciples, feeling they were forsaken hid behind closed doors in the upper room in Jerusalem. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” John 20:19. The disciples were then glad to see that their Lord was indeed alive. They then knew that they had not been forsaken by their beloved Master. Because of His resurrection, Jesus the living, conquering Lord, belongs to us all and shall live in the lives of dedicated believers until He comes again. He hasn’t forsaken us!
Our Life Doesn’t End with the Grave – His resurrection on Easter morning proved to all that life does not end with the grave. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Rev. 1:18. Because He lives we have a chance of eternal life when He comes again.
Our Tomorrows Will Be Better Than Today – The darkness of Good Friday wasn’t the end of the story, for the sorrow of the disciples was swallowed up by the joy of Easter morning. Christians know that in Christ our tomorrows will always be better than our today's. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3. Yesss!! Our tomorrows will be better than today! Praise God!
Jesus is the joy and inspiration of every believer. And the very mention of His name, and His glorious resurrection from the dead on the first Easter morning, puts a song in our hearts and floods our faces with joy. Yes! Our God was wounded for our transgressions, dying for our sins. But He is now alive and is coming soon to take us with Him (Matthew 24:30, 31), just as He said! What encouragement!!!