April 16, 2017

The Resurrection: Part I – The Empty Tomb


It was just before dawn on the first day of the week. The Jewish Sabbath had not yet come to a close. As Mary Magdalene and several other woman walked towards the tomb with lamps in hand to light the way, they peered into the darkened garden. As they looked, they scarcely could believe their eyes! Was the stone rolled away? They began to run towards the rock hewn tomb. They peered inside the tomb and saw that it was empty except for the single burial cloth that had wrapped the body of their Lord. As they stared in amazement, two men in brilliant white robes appeared before their eyes. “Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen: he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him as he said unto you!” Wonder and awe filled their hearts as they rose from the ground and turned on the empty tomb and began to run towards the city gate of Jerusalem. The sun was now just rising over the Mount of Olives. Today was truly a new day! (see Mark 16:6-7)

The day was Sunday morning, just before the daybreak. The time would be around 6:00 A.M. Several women had come to complete the burial process for their Lord. At the burial of a loved one, the family would tightly wrap the body of the deceased with white linen. As they wrapped the body they would place various types of ointments and spices within the folds of the cloth (interestingly one of these ointments was that of myrrh, which was also given to the child Jesus as a gift by the wise men). This embalming was to help to mask the smell of death as the family would continue to come and honor the deceased at the tomb. As they came they were greeted by messengers from heaven who told them that the Lord had risen and that they should go and tell the disciples of the Lord's rising. Upon coming to the disciples, the brethren where slow to believe and decided that they must go and see for themselves. This disbelief is not hard to understand, for though they had seen three individuals raised from the dead by the Lord, never had they seen one who had been resurrected from the dead. It is one thing to see one who has passed on before be restored to life, only to die again, but entirely different to see one raised from the dead, never again to die. Truly, this would be a hard thing to understand or believe. Truly, this was an amazing and miraculous event.

We each, on a daily basis, are given a similar choice. We each have heard testimonies and witness of the Savior. We have felt the power as apostles of the Lord have spoken to us. We have felt peace as we read the words of prophets past who testified of the Savior and of His atoning power. The choice we have is to believe upon the words of others, or to go and seek Him for ourselves. If we lack the faith to believe on the Lord, we should at least go and see for ourselves if what we hear is true. This personal witness will come as we kneel to the Lord and seek for His guidance and witness.

May we each, whether weak or strong in our faith, believe upon the words of prophets and apostles past and present and go and seek this Jesus who is great and mighty to save.

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