He Has Risen! Regarding The Empty Tomb – Easter 2023

And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.

He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.

Mark 16:6 RSV

How unlike any human designation was this! When the Lord Jesus addressed Saul of Tarsus from glory, he said, “I am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest” (Acts 22:8).

Just why the angels of God and Christ himself should have brought the name of that wretched Galilean village into such identifications cannot be fully known; but one thing was certainly in it, namely, a rejection of human value-judgments.

“He is risen: he is not here”

Was this really true?

The great heart of humanity has invariably received it as gospel truth, the wisest and best of all ages since then having concurred in the conviction that our Lord did in fact rise from the dead.

There could have been no Christianity if he did not rise from the dead!

The great historical witnesses of:

  • (1) The calendar
  • (2) The Lord’s Day
  • (3) The Lord’s Supper
  • (4) Christian baptism
  • (5) The progression of Christianity throughout history are perpetual and undying monuments to the fact of Jesus’ resurrection.

Not one of them has any explanation at all apart from the truth that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead.

“Behold, the place where they laid Him”

The angel here called attention to the undisturbed grave-clothes of Jesus. the evidence thus lying before them being sufficient to convince them of the resurrection.

John elaborated this detail (John 20:1-10), indicating that it was the evidence which convinced him of the resurrection.

The grave-clothes, having been applied by the winding of the whole body of Jesus in small medical-like bandages cut from the linen cloth, were intact, as if the body of the Lord was still encased therein, even the napkin being in a roll as if Jesus’ head was still in it. Christ had risen through the grave-clothes in exactly the same manner that he had risen through the tomb.

The angels had rolled away the stone not to let Jesus out, but to let the witnesses in!


Satan has vexed himself endlessly regarding the phenomenon of the empty tomb.

His emissaries have alleged that someone stole the body, or that the women mistakenly went to the wrong grave, or that Jesus walked out after a long swoon, etc., etc., endlessly; but all of the devices of the devil fail in the light of the facts:

(1) that if the enemies of Christ had stolen the body, they would have used it to destroy the infant faith.

(2) that if the disciples had stolen it, it would have resulted in Christianity’s having been founded upon a fraud, an assumption so monstrous that only a fool could believe it.

There was nothing in heaven or upon earth that could have sent the last one of those apostles of Jesus up and down the Roman empire preaching Christ crucified and risen again, except the unqualified certainty that they were preaching the truth.

Most of them, if not all, sealed their testimony with their blood; and the Spirit-filled church swept over the ancient empire like the breath of God himself.

The empty tomb proved the resurrection of Christ, independently even of the remarkable epiphanies which followed.

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”

John 21:21‭-‬22 RSV

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