(This is the triumphant conclusion to the three previous “You and God” posts “His Last 24 Hours.”
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary could not, in the pre-dawn darkness, see the bodies of the soldiers, and by the time they arrived at the tomb the angels had momentarily disappeared; they saw only the huge rock that had been rolled away and they saw an empty tomb. Immediately they ran back to tell John and Peter, and these two disciples had a footrace to the grave. John was the first to reach the empty tomb, and Peter confirmed his findings. The assumption was, at that point, that someone had come during the night and had stolen the body of Jesus.
As John and Peter left to go home, Mary Magdalene made her way back to the sepulcher and, standing at its entrance, she began to weep. Through her tears she got the nerve to again peek into the cave and she could hardly believe what she saw: two angels sitting where Jesus’ body had lain—one at the head and one where His feet had been. They asked Mary why she was weeping, and she told them that someone had taken away the body of her Master. “I know not where they have laid Him,” she lamented.
Turning away from the tomb’s entrance, Mary began to leave when her attention was caught by a man who at first appeared to her to be the gardener. The man also asked her why she was weeping, and Mary replied, “Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
At those words, the supposed gardener looked at the weeping woman and said, “Mary.”
“Rabboni,” Mary exclaimed, and she fell at the feet of the resurrected body of the Lord Jesus Christ and began to worship Him.
Thus, the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life upon the earth and His subsequent resurrection from the tomb. All of these events, to be sure, are historical; but they are more than historical, they have a spiritual significance that puts them into a category all by themselves.
They were, indeed, the most significant events in all of history.
Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, Israel’s King, Savior of all men, came into this world for one reason. His testimony to Pilate, in His own words, says it best:
“To this end I was born, and for this cause came I into the world; that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37
Are you of the truth today? Are you listening to His voice? “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” Jesus said it. John 14:6 If you have not yet done so, will you come to God through Jesus today?
Waiting the Call Nature blushed in reverence of God’s Son upon the tree, While the thirsty mob for death did yell; Jesus died that day to set His killers free, But God refused to leave His Holy One in Hell. That is why He died though Satan’s worst at Him was hurled; That is why from heav’n to earth He came; There His blood was shed, the Savior of the world, Even as in death He suffered shame. He would die indeed, then in the grave would lie, Fragrances of death would fill the tomb; Followers outside the cave would mournful cry, Some had traced His steps from Mary’s womb. But from the sabbath day to Sunday’s fate, Jesus went to Hell to gather up His own; Captives in the bosom of Abraham did wait, To follow Christ through space to their new Home. We who trust Him now by faith do also wait, Listening for the trumpet and the shout; Waiting for our entrance through His open gate, This our blessed hope-without a doubt! Even so “Come quickly” is our daily prayer, Nothing here could make us miss His call; Surely Heaven’s glories we will gladly share, Jesus, risen Savior, before Him all will fall. Anthony Slutz