Tuesday in the Last Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1

He Is Not Here, for He Has Risen

This is what the angels announced on the morning of the first day of the new world.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ has changed everything.  The story of the world had been a tragedy; now it becomes a comedy, a divine comedy with the most wonderful ending of all.  Sinful man could be saved from the worldly mess he had made.  He now could become a citizen of the celestial city in which a righteous King reigned.  And he himself was changed as well from sinner to saint, a priest called to offer up spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to his Lord.  Though he was born in the mire and muck of this world, he was now reborn a citizen of heaven, just waiting for his graduation.  Yes, the Christian life is a comedy.

And how is this?  What turned the tragedy into a comedy?  The resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We seem to spend most of our time with his passion, and certainly that is important.  But his passion means nothing if he does not rise from the dead.  The Apostle Paul would have us understand that everything rides on his resurrection, for “if in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19).  The passion does not open heaven’s gate; the resurrection does.  If Christ is still in the grave, then we shall rot in ours and our souls will die with us.  For it is not only the resurrection of our bodies but the immortality of our souls as well which depend on this most important event in world history, the centerpiece of the Christian faith.

The women who were at the cross went to anoint the body early in the morning on the first day of the week, Sunday, the third day in which Jesus lay in the grave.  The angels appear in dazzling white apparel and inform them of the wonderful news while reminding them that Jesus had said as much.  They even invite them to look inside the tomb.  Then they tell them to go tell the disciples what they have seen.  Mark’s Gospel adds the wonderful directive that they were to especially inform Peter.  Remember that Mark was Peter’s assistant, implying that much of Mark’s Gospel is probably Peter’s Gospel.  Perhaps Peter wanted us to know that if Christ could forgive him of his treachery, he can forgive us of ours.

Those immortal words, “He is not here; he has risen,” mean that our lives will end happily ever after.  And do remember, it’s not a generic story in which “love conquers hate,” but a specific story of a specific Conqueror who saves a specific people from certain death.  A comedy indeed!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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