The last guest post from Josiah Cooper with a dynamic description of Easter Sunday
Easter post 3 of 3:
Dawn broke on the first day of the week, signaling the end of the Sabbath. The preparations for Jesus’ body before His burial had been incomplete the weekend before because the Sabbath was drawing near, and now those He loved were on their way to the
tomb to finish their labor of love. Two obstacles stood in their way, the Roman guard placed by Pilate at the request of the religious leaders, and greater still was the stone that sealed the entrance to the tomb.
Suddenly, as they draw near, the ground begins to shake violently and a bright light outshining the dawn explodes from the direction of the grave. The Roman guard, who have been skillfully trained to fear nothing, wither in fear and pass out as
“dead men”. As the ground ceases its trembling, the ladies see the stone has been rolled away and a mighty angel sitting on it as though he is expecting them. His message is short and simple: “Jesus isn’t here”! He shows them the place where Jesus lay and tells them that they will see Him in Galilee.
Jesus has had a long weekend. Not only did He have to to go through the whole dying thing, but what we don’t often consider is the necessity of His death. Death was His ticket to the underworld where He did suffer for the sins of the world until the moment the Father said “ENOUGH”. Hearing His Father’s voice, a voice He had not heard since since He was forsaken at Calvary, brought new life into His being, and the tables of Hell were turned! The very chains that bound Him in torment He seized and with them He chained together sin and death. Looking over and seeing the souls in the graves, He turned and locked eyes with Satan, the former Angel of Light, whose countenance at this point must have been
priceless. In an instant, Jesus has him by the collar, demanding the keys to Hades, and snatching them from Lucifer’s bony fingers he leads captivity captive and frees those in the prison of Hell.
“ARISE, MY LOVE!” The words carry such power as Jesus’ soul returns to His body that the earth shakes and men tremble. An angel is dispatched from the heavens, his broadsword at the ready, wings flared at his decent to earth, surrounded in purest light. Sheathing his sword behind him, he leans into the stone and effortlessly moves it aside, taking a seat atop it as he waits to deliver his glorious message: “Why seek ye the living among the dead?…But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”
As they left the tomb, the stunning message and reminder from the angel ringing in their ears, Jesus Himself meets them on the road. He greets them, affirming what the angel has said and promises to see them soon.
They return to the house where the disciples have been hiding out and tell them the good news “Jesus is risen!” Peter and John rush to the tomb to see for themselves going inside, they see the place where He lay and the linen garment that had wrapped His head folded neatly. Marveling to themselves, they leave, very curious about what is to come next.
Two men are walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus and a stranger joins them, listening to their conversation as they travel. They are discussing the events of the past weekend and their despair that the man they had hoped would be their Messiah and deliver them from Roman oppression had been so savagely cut down and killed. The stranger begins talking with them about their history and how prophecies for centuries had foretold what the Messiah would be and what He would do. His voice and manner of speech sound familiar, and when He looks away, Cleopas catches the eye of His friend and mouths “who is this guy?”, only to get an expression of similar bewilderment as his answer.
Entering Emmaus, the trio draws near to a house and the stranger implies that He is going further, but Cleopas and his friend invite him to dinner. Something about this guy and his knowledge of the scriptures is so magnetic and rich that they’re not ready to say
“goodbye” just yet. The men sit down to eat. Wine is poured, and the stranger offers to say grace. Taking the bread in his hands, he prays “blessed are You oh LORD our God who brings forth bread from the earth”. Breaking it, he offers a half to each of the other two men. Their eyes burst from their faces as everything becomes crystal clear, for they are looking at the hands of Him who was pieced! Looking up at one another, speechless, they turn to Jesus only to find that He has disappeared!
Such excitement fills them that they run the entire 7 miles back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples again the news they’ve already heard “The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.” As they recount the story, Jesus appears in their midst greets them with peace. Revealing His scars, He invites them to touch and see for themselves that
they might believe. To add to His reality, they give him food, which He eats, proving that He is no ghost, but very much the Jesus that they know and love.
Jesus is risen, He is risen indeed!