“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” Matthew 28:5-8
Thinking back to the crucifixion of Jesus reminds us of a sequence of days that began as heart wrenching but ended with rejoicing and victory. We read about our Savior being betrayed and learn of the horrific death He suffered at the hands of brutal men. Thankfully, the story didn’t end there! The time to rejoice comes soon after when Jesus is no longer in the tomb! He’s alive and lives forevermore!
When Jesus was resurrected, He could no longer be found in the tomb where He was buried. He made several appearances after He rose from the grave, pouring out His Spirit on those who turned to Him who had a desire to be saved.
Our spiritual experience of salvation as believers parallels with the physical life of Jesus when He walked on Earth and was crucified. He death, burial, resurrection and are seen in us through our born-again experience (first preached in Acts 2:38). Our repentance (laying down [death] our sinful lifestyle, being baptized in Jesus’ name, being filled with His Spirit) started us on our Christian walk with Him. His appearance after He was raised from the dead is seen in us as we carry on the gospel message, introducing Jesus to the world around us.
When the Lord walked on Earth, He did not command us to do things He Himself couldn’t or wouldn’t do. As we follow His Word and teachings throughout our own earthly journeys, we continue to do things that are parallel to what Jesus did. We show love and compassion, pray and teach others His Word, reach out to the ones that the world passes by, and walk with humility, recognizing how blessed we are to have such a wonderful Savior.
There were other examples for us to follow that were seen in the life of Jesus. We saw how He responded to temptation. We saw how He treated those who mistreated Him. We saw His use of Scripture to fight battles. He was the ultimate example of what we strive to be.
There is one important example Jesus gave us that is necessary for Christians to follow in order to live for God successfully and victoriously.
When Jesus was resurrected, He did not stay in the tomb. He came out of the tomb, never to return.
Friends, when Jesus raised us to new life, we were being raised from the grave in a spiritual sense. It is not God’s will that we continue hanging around the tomb. His desire is that we go into the world and share the Gospel! When returning to the tomb was never a consideration for Jesus, it should not be a consideration for us either.
In other words, Jesus delivered us from a place of spiritual death, having no spiritual life. We already knew the life that would bring the end result of death, but not the death (repentance) that would bring resurrection to our hearts to live again. He doesn’t want us dwelling in the tombs once we’ve been resurrected. Tombs offer no life. Spiritually speaking, sin offers no life to the Christian. Jesus delivered us from those things, and He wants us to move far beyond a dwelling place that sits near the tombs (sin).
When the Savior has offered us life, let us take full advantage of it! Knowing we are freed from the tombs is the ultimate way to live!