April 3, 2013

Jesus left the tomb

A few years ago, a person knowledgeable about such things explained why Jesus could walk on water and suddenly appear in rooms with locked doors. He said that the space between the tiny molecules that make up matter is so large by comparison to the matter that another object should easily be able to pass through it. We sit on a chair, but the molecules of a chair are far enough apart that the molecules of our bodies (also far apart) should be able to pass through the chair, but they don’t. We walk through air, float or sink in water, but anything is theoretically possible.

Obviously we need our world to be this way, but how does it work? The Bible says of Jesus…

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16–17)

He controls it. In Him, all things hold together. While this principle is consistent and dependable (I can rely on a chair to hold me from passing through it to the floor), He can change the rules if need be. That is why He can walk on water and walk through walls. That is also why He didn’t need to have the stone rolled away so He could get out of the tomb.

And looking up, (the women) saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. (Mark 16:4–6)

Today’s devotional reading says that large stone was not rolled away for Him to come out, but that they might go in! It was not the means of His exit but the means of their entrance. This makes the resurrection more than a piece of history; it makes it also a pledge and a promise, for God rolled away the stone not that Jesus might rise but that we might know he had risen. The women went into the empty tomb and saw only the place where they laid Him.

Going into a cave could be scary, never mind a stone tomb, but the women only saw grave clothes. Jesus was not there. In history, even His enemies and all skeptics have never argued or denied that His tomb was empty. They have tried to figure out what happened to His body, but no other answer fits the information we are given except that Jesus defied and defeated death. The tomb was neither cold nor eerie. It was quiet and calm, a place He merely rested for awhile and now one more assurance that He has risen indeed.

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