His followers were told that day that the tomb in which Jesus had been buried was empty. So where was he?

Today we celebrate not only the emptiness of the tomb, but the fullness of Christ's presence now in our lives.

Christ is risen indeed!

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When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Mark 16:1-8

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The stone was rolled away. The women were the first to discover it, the same ones who, unlike the disciples, stayed at the cross with Jesus to the bitter end.

So they went to the tomb to anoint his body “with spices,” a first century burial practice. (Remember the woman who anointed him with oil earlier in the week?) Surprised by the open door, they entered the tomb and confronted a “young man” dressed in white. He told them that Jesus “is not here. He has been raised.”

What was it like to hear that news for the very first time? The text says “terror and amazement seized them.” “Afraid,” they “said nothing to anyone.” On this Easter morning, two thousand years later, perhaps terror and amazement remain. But still Christ is risen! Let’s not keep it to ourselves!

Bill Leonard

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O God, help me today to receive the good news of Christ’s resurrection. And then to do something about it. Amen.

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Once more we shout our joy and praise
To One we love, whose throne is grace,
Whose way is Life, whose Word fulfills
As we in gladness do God's will.

Wesley Tactay Tabayoyong

Bill Leonard

Bill Leonard is a professor of Baptist studies and church history and religion at Wake Forest University, where he is the founding dean of the School of Divinity.

He Lives

Ken Medema

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