Whatever a person chooses to believe regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ, one thing everyone must admit is that something very unusual took place early Sunday morning three days after His Passover Day crucifixion. Whatever occurred, it had enough impact to change the course of history. It even marked a change in the calendar (B.C. and A.D.). Furthermore, it caused a radical change in Jesus’ Apostles (and many others, but our focus is on them). From utter despair and despondency over His death, which they believed ended all their hope in Him as Messiah, they were filled with assurance and joy unspeakable when they became eye-witnesses of the truth of His resurrection. From that time forward, they all held tenaciously to their faith in Christ as Messiah, Lord, and Saviour – even in the face of abuse, suffering, and martyrdom.
Would ALL Christ’s Apostles Willingly Die for a Lie?
Men will die for what they believe to be true, even if it is not. Who, however, would willingly die for what they know to be a lie? If the disciples knew they had stolen Jesus’ body and lied about seeing Him in His resurrected body, and also managed to persuade 500 other people to lie about seeing Him bodily resurrected, would they all have wasted the remainder of their lives preaching a lie, which eventually led to great persecution and even martyrdom (only John was not martyred for his faith in Christ, but he did suffer and was banished to a lonely island in his old age)? No.
Apostles Respond with Disrespect and Disbelief
So, what were the evidences presented by the Lord to convince His Apostles and other early believers in Him of the fulfillment of His oft repeated third-day resurrection prophecy? They were: (1) the wrappings in the tomb (see my “The Resurrection Reality – Part I” blog) and (2) His resurrection appearances (there are 11 specifically mentioned post-resurrection appearances recorded in Scripture – see Caldwell Commentary on the Life of Christ Vol. 8). The Lord Jesus appeared in His glorified body to a wide variety of witnesses, both women and men. He appeared at various times of the day and evening in both Judea and Galilee. He appeared in the open, behind locked doors, on the Road to Emmaus, the Sea of Galilee, and the Mount of Olives. He showed Himself privately to individuals and publicly to a multitude. Scripture records for us the initial reactions of some of the privileged witnesses of His post-resurrection appearances. One is Mary Magdalene (discussed later in this message).
What was the response of the Apostles when they heard, for the first time, the completed three-part Gospel? They obviously knew of Jesus’ death and burial, but how did they react when first hearing of the most critical third phase of the Gospel, His resurrection? That message was delivered to them by the two groups of Galilean women who shared with them their conversations with holy angels, the news of the tomb’s emptiness, and even His physical appearance and conversation to and with them (Matthew 28:9-10; see “The Resurrection Reality – Part I” blog). Mary Magdalene also told them of her encounter with Jesus later Resurrection Sunday morning (a much different message than her first one about His body supposedly having been stolen). What was the reaction of men who left everything to follow Jesus for some three years because they believed He was the true Messiah to the women’s testimony? Shockingly, it was one of both disrespect and disbelief.
“Disrespect”? Yes. Luke 24:11 says the women’s message . . . seemed to the disciples as idle tales, and the men believed them not. The Greek word for “idle tales,” “leeros,” means “nonsense“. It is a medical term that refers to the wild talk of delirious people. Vincent’s Word Studies translates “leeros” as “silly talk”. The disciples thought the women were delirious with silly talk and idle tales. They figured their female emotions were in such turmoil their minds played tricks on them! Ironically, those same men would soon reap what they sowed! Not many days later, the Apostles encountered the same reaction they initially gave the women. On the Day of Pentecost, when they shared the Gospel with the large crowds of people gathered in Jerusalem for the celebration, they were accused of being out of their minds (i.e., delirious); drunk propagators (Acts 2:13) of nonsense and idle tales! I encountered a similar reaction after my salvation when I shared the Gospel. I’m sure many of you did, as well.
The disciples’ response to the women gives us insight into the general attitude men had toward women in those days! A woman’s testimony was seldom allowed in Jewish courts of law. But the disciples should have been different, having been with Jesus, Who greatly honored women. Furthermore, the men were not merely hearing the testimony of one woman, but of many, and they were godly women, and their testimonies all agreed! There were no discrepancies in their accounts! The men should have believed them, especially when the women reminded them of the Lord’s oft-repeated third-day resurrection prophecy! We would think the men would at least run to the tomb to investigate the matter! After all, it was the third day! But they did not! It is another bit of irony that Peter and John hasted to Christ’s tomb after hearing Mary Magdalene’s false message about His robbed body, whereas the others did not even walk to the tomb when hearing the true message of His resurrected body!
Major Flaw in a Common Argument of Resurrection Skeptics
A common argument of skeptics of Christ’s resurrection is that His disciples so strongly believed Jesus would rise from the dead that, after His death, they deluded themselves into believing He was alive and even showed them His nail prints and ate with them. The major flaw with that theory is it contradicts the facts. The Apostles did not anticipate Jesus’ resurrection at all. They did not even remember His resurrection predictions, which they obviously categorized as either “non-literal” or “long-term” (i.e., He was referring to the general resurrection of the dead at the end of history – see John 11:23).
Even when the two Emmaus Road disciples, late Sunday afternoon, reported that Jesus was alive, Mark 16:13 says, “neither believed they them”. Then, when the glorified Lord Himself appeared before them in the Upper Room, they thought it was His spirit, not Him bodily resurrected (Luke 24:37)! The initial unbelief of the Apostles is one of the strongest evidences that Jesus rose from the dead. Why? Because if such adamantly reluctant-to-believe men all became so thoroughly persuaded of His resurrection that they preached it everywhere and to everyone, even in the direct face of persecution and martyrdom, it must be true!
How Christ’s Resurrection Proves He is God’s Son
If somebody would ask how the resurrection of Christ proves He is the Son of God, the answer is it fulfilled His prophecy to rise the third day. Only the Son of the Living God could raise from death by His own power. In John 10:18, Jesus claimed to have the power to lay down His life and to take it up again. He willingly and purposely laid down His life on Passover Day because He is the Lamb of God all the Passover lambs from the time of Israel’s Egyptian exodus pictured. He royally and authoritatively dismissed His spirit exactly at 3:00 p.m., because that was the time the priests began to slay the Passover lambs in the Temple. The Romans were shocked that Jesus died so soon, but they knew He truly dead, which is why they did not bother to break His legs (subsequently, they unknowingly fulfilled another Messianic prophecy about the Passover Lamb – Exodus 12:46). No man took His life. He dismissed it like an obedient servant precisely when He was ready to make His “exodus” from His earthly tabernacle! If He had continued under the power of death (no resurrection), it would prove He was simply another false messiah, and it would mean that God the Father did not put His “seal of approval” on His claims and His atonement work.
In Peter’s first sermon on the Day of Pentecost, he spoke about Christ’s resurrection having been predicted in the Old Testament, and by Jesus Himself during His earthly ministry. Peter explained how the Lord’s victory over sin and death was the cause for the Pentecost outpouring of the Spirit that the Prophet Joel predicted (2:28, 29). The Spirit was verifying the Messianic and Kingly claims of Jesus. Without the resurrection, Christ’s Messianic credentials could only be certified by His supernatural works, for His words would have failed on the one all-important prophecy, His third-day resurrection. To fail just one prophecy nullifies a prophet as being God-sent (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). It would mean all Jesus’ words were untrustworthy. It would be foolishly dangerous to base one’s faith (and eternal destiny) on a person whose works were supernatural, but whose words were unreliable, and whose life ended like that of any other false prophet.
The Busy Activities of Resurrection Sunday Morning
So, there was a lot of activity going on Sunday morning, to say the least. There were a lot of people making trips back and forth to the tomb. Angels from Heaven had traveled to the tomb; Roman soldiers, stationed there as guards, ran from the tomb as fast as they could, some going straight to the chief priests with their report, while others likely hid somewhere to avoid the death penalty (AWOL). Two different groups of godly women went to the tomb. Mary Magdalene ran ahead of the first group, jumped to a false conclusion about what she saw at the tomb, and quickly reported her false message to Peter and John. The two women’s groups (unlike Mary) departed one after the other from the tomb with great joy. They heard the message of Jesus’ resurrection directly from God’s holy messengers, and they saw the evidence themselves. They hurried to find the Apostles to share their good news with them.
Meanwhile, Peter and John also went hastily to the tomb, saw it was empty, and left. Shortly after their departure, Mary Magdalene decided to return to the tomb. Maybe she realized she had not looked inside, or maybe she thought about asking somebody there if they knew anything about Jesus’ body. However, the main reason she returned was because the Lord was drawing her there. He sovereignly chose her to be the first person to see Him resurrected. John 20:11-16 contains the divinely inspired account of one of the most emotionally charged scenes in Scripture.
Mary Magdalene’s Third Trip to the Tomb
When Mary arrived at for the third time at the garden tomb, she was in a pitiful condition. Verse 11 tells us she stood outside the sepulcher weeping, which in Greek literally means wailing. Mary’s heart was broken because she could not be near the Lord, alive or even dead. Her tremendous sorrow was the result of two things: (1) her deep affection for Him (a good thing), and (2) her disbelief in His resurrection, which really was disbelief in His prophesied Word (not a good thing). If she (like the others) had trusted His Word and clung to His third-day resurrection promise, she would not be at the tomb filled inconsolable grief.
It is said that two-thirds of what we fear in life never happens, and two-thirds of what we weep over are tears shed in vain. Mary’s wailing was unnecessary. It was the result of her unbelief, and when unbelief has a grip on the heart, it causes spiritual blindness. She could have realized the foolishness of her tears if she would have examined the evidence around her in view of the Lord’s promised third-day resurrection.
What was the evidence around her? Well, for one thing, when she did stoop down to look inside the tomb (as John had done shortly before), she saw two angels in white sitting on the shelf with the empty grave clothes of Jesus. One angel sat where Jesus’ head had been; the other sat where His feet had been. Interestingly, Mary did not go in the tomb; she merely looked into it. Yet, even after seeing two angels and the empty shell of the grave clothes lying in their undisturbed condition (as if a body was still in them), rather than instantly believing as John had, or being affrighted by the sight of the shining angels, as the other women had, or being perplexed like Peter, Mary didn’t seem to be fazed. Evidently, her grief was so intense, it put her brain into neutral gear. She had brain freeze. Because she wasn’t startled by the appearance of the two angels, they did not say anything to calm her fear. Instead, they asked a probing question. They wanted to get her to use her mind, instead of being so overwhelmed by her emotions.
They asked, “Woman, why weepest thou?” (John 20:13a). It is likely they would have continued conversing with her – probably asking, as they did with the other women, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen, as He said” (Luke 24:5, 6), but Mary did not give them a chance. She went straight to her previous wrong conclusion about things and again gave her false message of a stolen body; this time, however, she gave it to two holy messengers she thought were men! Mary told them her tears were because they took away her Lord, and she did not know not where they laid Him (John 20:13b). I guess it never dawned on her how strange it was that two young men in dazzling white attire were sitting in a tomb with empty grave clothes between them. I guess she didn’t realize how preposterous it would be that someone would take the Lord’s naked body and leave the grave wrappings in a totally undamaged condition.
Fascinating: Mercy Seat inside the Empty Tomb!
It is interesting that the two angels sat at either end of where Jesus’ body had laid. They were presenting a picture of “The Mercy Seat” lid of the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle. On The Mercy Seat sat two golden cherubim facing each other. God told Moses that it was there, above The Mercy Seat between the two angels that He would meet with His people, which He did in His pre-incarnate Shekinah Glory. It was a prophetic picture of the incarnate Christ, Who fulfilled all symbolism of “The Mercy Seat” when He mercifully died in our place. When He resurrected from the dead, He became the True Meeting Place between God and man. So, it was fitting that there were two real angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where Jesus not only fully demonstrated Who He is, but where He, in His great mercy, conquered man’ greatest enemy, death! It was as though God, by way of the position of the two angels in the tomb, was saying, “There is now a new Mercy Seat; for My Son has satisfied the payment for sin and now the way into My Presence is open for all who believe!”
It was an amazing picture, but Mary missed it. Unbelief does not listen well, nor does unbelief see well. Another prominent by-product of disbelief is ignorance. In verse 13, Mary said, “I know not,” and in verse 14 we read, “she knew not that it was Jesus”. She did not know where His body was when the grave clothing evidence was right in front of her, and she did not know where His body was when He was alive, standing right behind her. Unbelief emphasizes what we cannot know, but God’s Word clearly says we can know! Jesus told His followers ahead of time and repeatedly that He would suffer, die, and rise from death the third day. He told them so they could KNOW, with confident assurance, what was going to happen and they could have JOY even in the face of the horrific crucifixion circumstances. But, if people ignore God’s Holy Word, forget His promises, and do not believe in His resurrection, they will wallow in both ignorance and the sorrows of this world.
5 Reasons Mary Should not have wept at the Empty Tomb!
Mary Magdalene was weeping because Jesus was dead, His body was missing, and she would never see Him again or hear His voice or feel His unconditional love for her. But what was the real situation that she could have known all along? (1) He was not dead. (2) His body was not missing; it was simply transformed to a new glorified body. (3) She would see Him again (very soon)! (4) She would hear His voice again (very soon), and (5) she would know His unconditional love for her forever!
The only thing Mary should have shed tears over was her false message to Peter and John (repeated to the two angels) and the waste of money and time she spent preparing burial spices. She was weeping for the wrong reason! She was weeping because the tomb was empty! However, because the tomb was empty and because the grave clothes were empty, she had every reason under Heaven not to be weeping, but to be rejoicing!
If the tomb was not empty on the third day after Jesus’ death, Mary and the rest of us would have every reason to weep and to wail and to be inconsolable in our grief and despair! It would mean God’s Word had returned void (Isaiah 55:11)! It would mean Jesus’ promised prophecy was false, and He was disqualified to be Messiah/Saviour/Son of God. It would mean we are all dead in our sins, without any hope of ever being saved. Why? Because there never could be and never will be another Person Who can or will meet every Messianic credential and fulfill every Messianic prophecy and have the power and authority over every realm of life and death as Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Mary would yet be dead in her sins. You and I would yet be dead in our sins, and there would be tremendous cause for weeping and gnashing of teeth forever, which is exactly what unbelievers will do.
After Mary essentially said to the two angels, “I can do nothing but weep when my Lord is not here and even His body is gone, and I have no idea where they have taken Him,” she did not stay still to hear if the two “men” had anything to say in response. That is strange, isn’t it? What if they knew where His body was? She didn’t wait to hear! Instead, verse 14 states that as soon as she answered their question, “. . . she turned herself back”. Mary was not thinking right. She was a mess of distress and emotions. The angels likely would have told her “the good news” of Jesus’ resurrection, but they did not. Why? It was probably because they could see what she could not – at least with spiritual eyes. They saw and recognized the One standing directly behind her. When she turned from the angels in the tomb, Jesus was there before her, which made Mary the first person to see Him alive since His victory shout, “It is finished” (John 19:30)!
Can you imagine looking into a tomb at two holy angels, then turning around and BOOM, the glorified resurrected Son of God is standing right before you!? Don’t you think your heart would burst, and you would drop on your face before Him? But Mary didn’t. She was so full of grief and disbelief and ignorance and confusion and brain freeze, she was spiritually blind! She did not know the angels were angels and now she looked straight into the face of Jesus, and knew not it was Him.
First Recorded Word of the Resurrected Christ
So, what was the response of the first person to see the resurrected Christ? It was an absolutely momentous occasion and an absolutely unsurpassed privilege, yet Mary did not realize it or appreciate it, at least initially. She neither recognized Him nor His voice when He spoke His first resurrection words, which were, “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” (John 20:30). [Did you note the first recorded word of the resurrected Christ was “woman”? If you’re a female, you might appreciate that little footnote of information!]
Is it not wonderfully typical of the Lord that His first recorded words after His sacrificial death for the sins of the world were those of compassion? Had He not come to Earth to bind-up the broken-hearted (Isaiah 61:1)? Is it not also typical of Him to begin a conversation with questions? He purposely asked questions in order to get people to examine themselves. With His first question, “Woman, why weepest thou?” He was gently rebuking Mary because she had no reason to be wailing! She should have been delighted, not dismayed, that the tomb and grave clothes were empty! His second question, “Whom seekest thou?” was also a gentle rebuke. It was similar to the question the angels asked the second group of women that morning, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5).
Are You Seeking Life in Dead Places?
This is a question we should all think about in terms of what is important in our lives. What are we really seeking? Are we seeking life in dead places? All the religions of the world are “dead” places with dead founders lying in their sad graves. Are you seeking and striving for the dead things of this world instead of the eternally living things? Do the dead, material things take up your time, energy, and money? Is it the dead fame and fortune, power and prestige of this dying world that you seek? Are you setting your affections on this world, which will one day pass away? The sinful pleasures of this world are definitely a search for life in dead things. Most people seek the things of this world, which is seeking life in dead places and in dead things – and nothing has a more dead end than disbelief in the resurrection of the God/Man. The Lord’s questions were good ones, but Mary answered neither of them. Her spiritual eyes and ears were not yet “open,” for she did not recognize Him or His voice!
It is surprising that Mary was not surprised. It is weird that she was not startled or afraid by the sudden appearance of a man behind her outside the tomb as she had not been affrighted by the two angels inside the tomb! I guess it takes a lot to surprise or scare someone once possessed by seven demons! 😉
Why do you think Mary did not recognize the Lord? Was it the tears flooding her vision? Perhaps, but it is more likely she did not recognize Him for the same reason the Emmaus Road disciples did not recognize Him (until He prayed and broke bread with them). It is because His glorified, resurrection body was unlike His pre-crucifixion body. He looked different. We do wonder, however, why she did not recognize His voice. It was probably because she did not have even the remotest idea that He could be alive. Her disbelief in His resurrection deafened her spiritual ears.
Presuming that Jesus was the gardener (cemetery caretaker), Mary ignored His two questions and instead made a plea, “Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away”. Notice she spoke of “Him” three times, but never bothered to tell “the gardener” who she was speaking about. She also made a very foolish promise when she declared that she would take Him away! If the gardener showed her the body, she would tote it somewhere. Not only did she not have a place to carry Him, but there is no way in the world Mary could have carried a man’s body, probably weighing about 175 pounds – with 100 pounds of spices added. She may not yet have realized it, but the grave clothes with all the spices embedded in them were lying empty in the tomb. So, Mary was actually saying she was going to carry off a 175-pound dead and naked man! Her devotion was wonderful, but her disbelief caused her to give a false message and a false promise! Her disbelief made her irrational, blind, ignorant, illogical, foolish, impatient, overwhelmed with sorrow and despair, etc.
In a Sense, Jesus is the Gardener (as Mary presumed)
There is, however, a sense in which Jesus was the Gardener (spiritually speaking) for with His next single word, He plowed right into the rich soil of Mary’s heart to plant in it the seed of the Gospel message: that He did die – He was buried – but He had risen the third day, for there He was alive right before her. The seed instantly bore fruit, for Mary knew her Good Shepherd when He called her by name (John 10:3, 4). When Jesus said, “Mary,” INSTANTLY the wails and worries of the broken-hearted, confused little sheep ended. One word – her name, and the depths of despair turned to unbound delight!
On hearing her name, Mary “. . . turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master” (20:16). “Turned herself” means that Mary had already turned away from Jesus after she made her plea to Him as the supposed Gardener. Just as she had so quickly turned and ran from the tomb when she saw the stone was rolled away and had also so quickly turned from the angels inside the tomb, she likewise had turned from Jesus. All her running and turning tells us her nerves were totally “on edge”. So, when she heard Him speak her name, her back was to Him. This means she was not distracted by a different looking Jesus – she heard only His Voice, and it was the Voice she knew so well calling her by name! The Good Shepherd said, “Mary,” an she immediately turned back toward Him and said, “Rabboni”. Mary would never be the same again. Jesus had delivered her from demonic possession; now He delivered her from despair possession.
Mary Magdalene, Delivered from Demonic and Despair Possession
I don’t think it is possible for us to fully comprehend the emotion and the spirit of the Lord’s followers – like Mary and the other women and especially His disciples, after His crucifixion. They had depended on Him with every fiber of their beings and had been with Him every day of their lives for some three years. To put it mildly, it was very unsettling for them to see Someone so strong; so capable of doing any and everything imaginable (i.e., walk on water/raise the dead/restore the blind); Someone so absolutely pure, wise, kind, and selfless, and One in Whom they were confident was the long-awaited Messiah be arrested and led meekly like a sheep to the slaughter, where He was beaten, mocked, tortured beyond human recognition, and nailed to a cross like a common criminal. To die in such a manner (hanging from a tree) meant He was cursed of God (Deuteronomy 21:23; Galatians 3:13). It was immensely unsettling. Their minds were also tormented with the thought that they may have been wrong about Him (which did not make sense because He was so perfect and powerful). But He was dead and was buried just like any mortal person. To see Jesus fallen and lifeless; it absolutely shattered His followers, men and women. It was depressing beyond imagination for them.
Apostles; Unbelieving to Unstoppable
But contrast the devastating picture of the Lord’s post crucifixion Apostles and followers with these same people seven weeks later. They are publicly lifting up their voices, proclaiming the Gospel message in the very city that killed Jesus, and doing so, amazingly, in all the various languages and dialects of the tens of thousands gathered to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. The Apostles are not afraid to be in the heart of enemy territory. They are actually on the offensive as they indicted the Jews for wickedly delivering their own long-awaited Messiah to the Romans to be crucified. Peter’s Acts chapter two sermon is focused on the Lord’s resurrection. The once despondent disciples rejoiced even when they are imprisoned and persecuted, and they could not be silenced no matter what Israel’s High Council threatened to do to them. They even rejoiced for the privilege to suffer for Christ. In fact, all of them except John went to their deaths as martyrs for proclaiming the saving Gospel message. How do you explain such an incredible transformation? You explain it with their absolute certainty of Christ’s resurrection.
All four gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) end by testifying that the crucified and buried Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead. John, in particular, took great pains to record the explanation for the tremendous change in Jesus’ followers from how they were after His crucifixion to how they were after His resurrection. Chapter 20 presents four episodes that led to an individual or groups of individuals’ unshakable faith in the Lord’s bodily resurrection, beginning with his personal testimony of belief in it based on the empty grave clothes.
John then recorded the account of Mary Magdalene (just discussed). His third episode of chapter 20 is when the resurrected Lord first appeared to the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room (minus Thomas), and how they became convinced of His bodily resurrection. The fourth episode took place a week later, and it concerns “doubting” Thomas and what it took to persuade him that Jesus was alive from the dead as the glorified God/Man! The four episodes present people with different states of mind; there is the pensive, devoted John himself; the emotional, totally overcome with sorrow Mary; the dedicated, but fearful Apostles, and the skeptical, “must see to believe” Thomas. John was inspired to record how each of those four personality types was brought to rock-solid faith in the resurrection of Jesus.
Impossible for Death to Keep it’s Grip on the Prince of Life!
Much more than the disciples’ fate hung on the cross with Christ; the fate of the world hung there with Him. If He could not break the power of sin, which is death, by rising bodily from the grave the third day, as He promised, mankind would be doomed to endure not only the anguish of this life until the end of history, but also to experience “the second death,” eternal separation from God. But Jesus did keep His Word. As God, it is impossible for Him not to keep it – just as it is impossible for death to keep the Prince of life (Acts 3:15) in its grip! The Lord Jesus broke the power of sin and death by rising, as He said, out of His grave clothes and out of the tomb (temporarily borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea)!
Because Christ Arose from the Dead, You Can, too !
Christ’s resurrection victory provided the means for all who place their faith in Him to receive everlasting life with Him. Because of His resurrection, we can know with assurance that we, too, will receive new glorified bodies and will live forever on a New Earth in an existence so marvelous and so unimaginable that no matter what we may suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He has in store for us (Romans 8:18). Yes, we are destined in this life to have our struggles, trials, and sufferings, and even to face physical death (unless He comes soon in the Rapture), but because of Christ’s resurrection, we can face life’s difficulties with the conviction that no matter what, NOTHING can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38, 39) – and nothing includes death! Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Then He asked a question, which He asks all of us her today, “Believest thou Me?” (John 11:25). He does not lie (Hebrews 6:18), so believe Him. He arose from the dead so you can, too (John 14:19). I hope with all my heart you believe Him and the testimony of the Scripture and the testimony of the Apostles and many other followers of Jesus whose lives were utterly transformed because they saw with their own eyes the empty tomb, the empty grave clothes, and the risen Christ Himself!
O, Glorious Day!
When Mary of Magdala went to Christ’s tomb
And saw it was empty; she raced to the room;
The room where His men all hid in their fear,
Confused and despondent, their futures unclear.
She arrived in a panic, with a look of despair.
“They’ve taken the Lord! His body’s not there!”
Both Peter and John ran straight for the door,
Neither expecting what joy lay in store!
Young John was the first to arrive at the scene.
He saw linen wrappings, with nothing between!
He thought for a moment, without going in,
And then his whole being burst forth from within!
“I must tell my brothers! The Christ is ALIVE!
I must let them know our hope’s been revived!
O, glorious day! He’s done what He said!
He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s ALIVE FROM THE DEAD!”
Then Peter pushed past and saw what was there,
But belief was obstructed by guilt and despair.
They both left the tomb, and Mary came back.
Though her love was abundant, strong faith she did lack.
The tears in her eyes, she need nothave shed,
For there, in her presence,stoodlife’s Living Bread!
Her grief blocked her vision from seeing the face
Of Jesus – in bodily, resurrected grace!
“Why are you weeping? Who is it you seek?
O, Mary, look up! Is your faith yet that weak?”
The Man she had thought was the gardener was HE;
Her Master, Who died on that horrible tree!
“Rabboni! O, Master! You’re alive and You’re here!
I see You! I see You! I see You now clear!
I must tell my brothers! O Lord, You’re ALIVE!
I must let them know our faith can now THRIVE!”
“O, glorious day! You’ve done what You said!
You’re alive! You’re alive! You’re ALIVE FROM THE DEAD!”
© Katherine K. Caldwell