“And as [the women] were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, [the angels] said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words,”Luke 24:5-8
I recall one of the very first funerals I attended. I was very young and this was all new to me. I had heard of death, but death is hard for a little boy to understand. The funeral was for a beloved man at our church and the services were held at a funeral home.
Our family arrived at the funeral home to pay our respects, and when we went up to the front of the room, I could see his body in the casket. He looked like he was sleeping and comfortable as he laid there. I was waiting for him to speak or sit up, but he did not move a muscle. I could not understand the stillness and finality of death, but he did not come back after he was buried, and I never saw him at church ever again.
I have been to many funerals over the years, and I have come to know that for this life, death is final and unchanging. I have not yet seen anyone get up out of the casket, and I have not seen anyone rise from the dead. Death is never a pleasant experience but unless the rapture happens, we will all experience death at some time. Hebrews 9:27 states, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Death comes for all of us and it is often a sad time for those who are left behind. The Christian does not mourn as those who have no hope, as they know death is not final for the Christian just as it was not final for our Savior.
Jesus was born to die for us, but His death was not the end of the story. It seemed as though He was down for the count, but in three days He rose again. He did not stay in the tomb, but He rose just as He said He would. Some mourned His death and others cheered, but our Lord conquered death and did what no one else could do. We celebrate a risen Savior and a Savior who has won the victory. I Corinthians 15:55 states, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” He was the victor and because He lives, we shall live also.
For what or for whom do you live today? Do you serve a risen Savior, or one that is manmade? Has the world captured your attention, or are you focused on the One who has risen? We say we serve a risen Savior, but we live as though we do not fully believe that to be true. We worry ourselves with what the world worries about, and we care far too much about what the world thinks. May we remember we serve a risen Savior, and death is not the end of our story. II Corinthians 5:8 states, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Are you ready to meet the One who rose the third day? Have you put your trust in Him alone? Rejoice and be thankful for a risen Savior as Matthew 28:6a states, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.” He is risen! He is risen indeed!