Tomorrow is a day of pure joy for Christians around the world.
As the story goes, Jesus had been crucified on Good Friday and placed in a tomb.
Matthew 28 records what happened next.
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.’
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’”
Can you imagine the shock and joy these women, who loved Jesus very much, must have been feeling? It must have been nearly uncontainable!
One of my favorite hymns is “Low in the Grave He Lay.” I look forward to singing it every year. My favorite line is “Up from the grave he arose,” because traditionally that line is sung with so much gusto that you can’t help but feel the joy in a room full of Christians. When we remember Christ’s resurrection, we remember the victory He has won for us. What can anyone do to us now? As the Apostle Paul says, O Death, where is thy sting?
“Low in the grave He lay/Jesus my Savior!/Waiting the coming day/Jesus my Lord!/Up from the grave He arose,/With a mighty triumph o’er His foes/He arose a Victor from the dark domain,/And He lives forever with His saints to reign./He arose! He arose!/Hallelujah! Christ arose!/Vainly they watch His bed/Jesus, my Savior!/Vainly they seal the dead/Jesus my Lord!/Death cannot keep his prey/Jesus, my Savior!/He tore the bars away/Jesus my Lord!”