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. . . .”
—Matthew 28:5–6, NIV
Death seems so harsh and final. I can imagine that the disciples were feeling the finality of the Crucifixion as they had witnessed the cruel death of their friend, teacher, and Lord. After all, they had left everything to follow him, and the end result was a torturous death that in appearance seemed absolute. I am sure they were confused and emotionally overcome. But the truth is, if they would have gone back in their memories, they would have recalled an important event and statement Jesus had made.
But standing there at Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus spoke forth these hope-filled words: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25–26, MEV).
The disciples would have recalled Jesus standing at the tomb of his close friend Lazarus. They would have remembered that Jesus did something totally unexpected: he wept (John 11:35). These two words reveal the deep sympathy God feels for the sorrow, death, and suffering of his people. The Greek word for wept, dakruo, indicates that Jesus burst into tears and then wept silently. This should be a great comfort to all of us who experience sorrow. Jesus feels the same sympathy for each of us that he felt at the tomb of Lazarus and for the relatives and friends of Lazarus. He loves each of us that much. I believe he knew that death was not part of God’s original plan. Humanity was not meant to grow old, to suffer with disease, or to die. But because of the sin of Adam and Eve, sin entered the human race, and death followed with it. And death spread to all of us. Jesus wept because it broke his heart.
The resurrection of Jesus is one of the unchangeable central truths of the gospel. It is the good news that forever stands as a testament that he is truly the son of God, our Redeemer who lives, the risen Lamb, and the Messiah and Savior of all mankind.
What does this mean for each of us who have chosen through faith to walk in the gracious gift of salvation? Friends, death has been defeated! It is not the end! [Click to tweet!]
It is the foundation for Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit and spiritual life to those who believe.
It is the establishment for Jesus’ heavenly intercession for every believer.
It makes available to us the presence of Jesus and his power over sin in our everyday lives and experiences.
It provides a way for us to enter into heavenly intercession with our Lord.
It assures us, as believers, of our future heavenly inheritance.
Physical death is not a tragic end, instead it is the gateway to abundant hope, eternal life, and fellowship with our heavenly Father and risen Lord.
Just as Jesus lives forever, we too, as resurrected believers, will never die.
We will have new bodies, immortal and incorruptible.
If we put our faith and belief in Jesus, then his resurrection means that we will not be devastated by death, but we will live forever in the holy and majestic presence of God in a glorious fellowship with him.
Today’s Good Friday guest post is by Rebecca Greenwood, author of Let Our Children Go, Defeating Strongholds of the Mind, and Breaking the Bonds of Evil. 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 […]