March 23, 2008


Matthew 28:1-7

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”
Matthew 28:6


Early on Easter morning, just before sunrise, some of the same women who had stood weeping at the cross made their way through the narrow streets of Jerusalem to the garden where Jesus had been buried. Their eyes were heavy with tears. Their whole world had come to an abrupt halt. Their dreams had been shattered. The one on whom they had placed their hope was dead. They had seen it with their own eyes. They had witnessed his crucifixion. The jeers of the people who had told Jesus to come off the cross and save himself were still ringing in their ears. Jesus’ friends had not understood his cry: “It is finished!” All they knew was that their beloved Master and Teacher was dead.

The women were going now to embalm the body of their Lord. They wondered how they would remove the large stone at the tomb’s entrance. But as they got closer to the grave, one miracle followed another. They found the stone rolled away and an angel sitting on top of it. Why was the stone rolled away? As scholars have noted, it was not to let Jesus out, but to show everyone else that he was no longer inside.

He has risen! And that makes all the difference in the world. In a world with so many cemeteries, where death always seems to have the last word, Jesus has conquered death. Knowing that changes everything.

On this Easter morning, Lord, remind all who have lost loved ones that there is life in the midst of death. Thank you that death does not have the last word for all who love you. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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