It was early, not quite daybreak. Mary Magdalene and other of the Lord’s disciples had spent another restless night. Their grief was still too fresh to give them any peace. This man Jesus, whom they loved, trusted, and looked to for their salvation, was dead now three days. His body would soon be far enough into the decaying process to begin to smell. So Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, rose up early to bring spices to the tomb that they might forestall the scent of death and decay from this man they loved so deeply.

With steps made heavy by their sorrow, they started to the tomb. As they went, they discussed in hushed voices about how they would accomplish what they were coming to do. The stone they had seen placed over the mouth of the tomb was too heavy for them to move. Would they be able to persuade the guards to move it for them? Could they find someone else of sufficient strength to roll the stone aside to they could anoint the body with the spices they had brought?

As they came in sight of the tomb, they made a startling discovery; the tomb was open! Someone had moved that huge stone. At least now they could get to the body to anoint it with the spices they had carried with them.  There were no guards around to stop them, so they entered the tomb expecting to see His body lying there wrapped in the grave clothes. Instead, they found a young man sitting on the right side of the sepulcher clothed in a long white garment. His presence in, and their Lord’s absence from the tomb caused them to be greatly amazed.

You see, that first morning that they celebrated the resurrection of Jesus did not start out as a celebration. When they set out on this little trek, it was just another walk of sorrow and sadness. As we arise from our beds this morning to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, we can be thankful that we can wake up with joy from a night of rest. We laid down last night already knowing that the tomb is empty. We woke up this morning rejoicing that God had taken away our hard and stony heart and given us a heart of flesh. In doing so, He has shown us both the sorrow of our Lord’s crucifixion and the glorious joy of His resurrection!

Bow and give God thanks this morning that you know the tomb is empty. Pray for those who do not yet have this joy in their lives. Live your life as a reflection of the mighty power that raised up Jesus from the dead, knowing that this is the power that quickens our mortal bodies!

May God bless you all.

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