Because He Lives

Easter • Devotion #3: Because He Lives
Gareth Volz | Senior (55+) Director

Have you heard the news? The body of Jesus is missing! What does this mean? To me, it means everything. Let me explain.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. In Matthew 16:15-17, we read, “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.’” Later in Matthew 20:17-19, we read,And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way He said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and He will be raised on the third day.’”

The morning after the Sabbath following Jesus’ crucifixion, a great earthquake occurred, an angel of the Lord descended and rolled away the stone from the entrance to the tomb. The soldiers, overtaken with fear, fell to the ground like dead men. Shortly after, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb and were surprised to see the stone rolled away. In Matthew 28:5-7, we read, But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.  Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. See, I have told you.’” They ran and told the disciples what had happened, and Peter and John raced to the tomb to see for themselves – the body was not there. Then they remembered what Jesus had told them and they knew Jesus had risen as He said He would.

Why do the empty tomb and missing body mean everything to me? The words of the hymn “Because He Lives” say it all:

God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus, 

He came to love, heal and forgive. 

He lived and died to buy my pardon, 

An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. 

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives, all fear is gone.

Because I know He holds the future, 

and life is worth the living just because He lives.

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