JIM H. YOHE
The observation was once made that the victory wasn’t in the cross of Christ as much as in His empty tomb. Another memorable quote is, “We cannot make too much of the death of Christ, but we can make too riffle of the resurrection of Christ!” The scriptural quote that begins the resurrection story is Mark 16:4, ‘And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away.”
Why did they wait until the first day of the week to anoint Him? Some scholarship exists that places Jesus’ actual crucifixion on Wednesday at 9 a.m. The sacrificial lambs of the Passover were being slain when he died at 3 p.m. The next day, Thursday, was the Passover, Friday was a Passover Sabbath, Saturday the Sabbath, leaving Sunday, the first day of the week. Due to the restrictive law of the Sabbath Day’s journey (3100 ft.), Sunday was actually first chance they had to visit the tomb! Like He stated, Jesus WAS in the belly of the earth three full days and nights!
WHAT was rolled away when the stone was rolled away? Classic sermons declare that human death itself was rolled away! “Death is no longer a bottomless cavern, but a tunnel with a golden light at the end of it! Death is no longer a blind alley, but a superhighway!” (Ironside)
After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, death itself is now dead!
WHY was the stone rolled away? It wasn’t rolled away so Jesus could get out, it was rolled away so the disciples could go in! It was not His means of exit, it was their means of entrance! Like a parent flips on a light to reveal to his scared child that no monsters are hiding behind his bedroom drapes, Jesus conquered death to show us there is nothing to fear!
WHAT did that rolled away stone reveal? NOTHING! Hallelujah, you may find a pile of dust and bones in the tombs of Muhammed, Confucius, or Buddha, but in the tomb of Jesus Christ you’ll find absolutely NOTHING! Because He isn’t there! He arose and now His spirit lives in the living temples of His children! The tomb is empty!
Jesus is our example! He overcame death and never died again! We can too! The Apostle Paul explains, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall ALL be changed, “(I Cor. 15:51) His death, burial and resurrection typified the forthcoming plan of salvation preached by Peter on the Day of Pentecost. “Repent (death), and be baptized(burial) everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, (resurrection).”(Acts 2:38) Despite the popularity of certain Christian icons, the true sign of Christianity is not a tongue of fire, not a bloody cross, it is the empty tomb!
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE WISCONSIN DISTRICT NEWS, JANUARY-MARCH 2001, PAGE 10. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.