The holy women approached this scene after the resurrected Saviour had departed, and were greeted, not by a guard of soldiers, but by a heavenly angel.  The strange sight must have intimidated these pious women, for the angel hastens to bid them fear not.  God will never respond in anger to those who are humbly seeking after His Son.  The angel assures them that he knows the purpose for which they came: “Ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.”  This is high praise for these devoted saints, that although they thought their Lord to be dead, slain by crucifixion as a hateful criminal, yet they still sought His presence, and desired to do Him honor.  Surely, those who remain devoted to Christ at the bleakest times will be rewarded in full splendor at the hour of His coming!

This said, the angel delivers to them news so happy that it reverberates around the world to this very day.  The glad tidings that Jesus Christ is no longer dead and entombed, but has risen, is indeed the word which has turned the world upside down.  Speak no more of Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius as great religious leaders.  Their bodies lie moldering in the tomb, and can no longer impart any benefit to their followers.  But the tomb of the blessed Jesus is empty, and He can never be put back into it.  His bitter foes are still trying to disprove this resurrection story, and put Him back in the grave, but they will no more succeed than could the scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ own day.  “He is risen” are three words that delight the heart of every child of God, and make him confident that he has rested his hopes for eternal life in the right place.  A dead savior would be no solace to us at all, but the knowledge that Christ has risen from the dead energizes our faith, and enables us to confront the world, the flesh, and the devil, in the hope of certain victory.  He is risen, just as He prophesied, and will never return to the grave.  “Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more.  Death hath no more dominion over Him.”  Nor can death prevail finally over the believer, for he will be given a spiritual body just as Christ possessed after His resurrection.  Our Lord was the firstfruits of them that sleep, a token of the far greater harvest yet to come when the final trumpet shall wake the dead from their deep slumber.

This news that Jesus was risen from the dead is a message that is not to be hidden, but proclaimed to the world.  The angel beckons them to see the place where the Lord lay, that they might produce solid eyewitness testimony of the empty tomb.  That was an age which put little stock in the testimony of women, but God thought it proper to have women be included among the witnesses of His Son’s most glorious triumph.  Having seen that the body of Jesus was vanished, the angel commands them to go tell the disciples that Christ was risen, and would precede them into Galilee, whither they should haste to meet Him. 

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