Comfort from the Empty Tomb

Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org

Saturday, April 7, 2012 & Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012

Comfort from the Empty Tomb

Read | Matthew 28:1-10

Think about a time when your heart was broken because your expectations were dashed and your world fell apart. That is exactly what happened to the women who came to Jesus’ tomb. They had put all their hopes in Him as Israel’s promised Messiah and had given Him their love and devotion. Now He was dead.

Can you imagine the sudden change in their emotions and outlook when an angel told them He had risen? Hope sprang to life again. Even though this event happened almost 2,000 years ago, the empty tomb still holds a message for us. Like these women, we can be dramatically changed when we consider the ramifications of Christ’s resurrection. It should affect how we live from this day onward.

Jesus’ resurrection proves that there is life after death. So many people today think that earthly existence is all there is. But this belief robs life of purpose and meaning. God created us as eternal souls, and Jesus demonstrated that death is not the end–much more awaits us.

The empty tomb also gives us hope and dispels our fears about death. We have One who has gone before us and shown us what’s ahead. Those who trust Him as their Savior will be resurrected to new life just as He was.

None of us know what day the Lord will call our name, signaling the end of our earthly life. Yet we do know that He has promised to prepare a place in heaven for us (John 14:1-3). Death is not the end, but the beginning of the greatest adventure of our lives–coming home to Christ.

Matthew 28

Jesus Is Risen!

1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7 Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”

8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus *said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

11 Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” 15 And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.

The Great Commission

16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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