On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves,and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. Luke 24:1-12

The climax of Christ’s life is the Resurrection. Some speak of Jesus’ teachings as invaluable, which they are. Some speak of the miracles as extraordinary, which they are. Some speak of Jesus surrounding himself with the disenfranchised as the embracing of all people, which it is. All of these things are overshadowed by the greatest act in history. Jesus conquered the grave and resurrected from the dead!

Each Gospel fills out details of the resurrection story. We’re given the names of the faithful women who arrived at the tomb to place the spices they had purchased prior to the Sabbath on the body of Jesus. They entered the tomb and found it empty. Then, angels appeared and spoke to them. “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”

The angels shared the very words that Jesus had spoken and they remembered. These faithful women understood. Now everything had changed! They ran to tell the apostles, who didn’t believe them until Peter ran, saw the linens, and validated their story.

For us today the resurrection is the same. The resurrection changes everything. As we struggle with our own mortality, we are given the gift of immortality. Jesus conquered the horrors of death so we can have an entrance into his very presence. On Easter Sunday we will celebrate the resurrection and will remember those who have gone before us. For me, it is remembering the faithfulness of my grandmother. She sustained faith through a very difficult life. And I’ll remember the one who taught me about unconditional love and grace given in Jesus, David Koch. Both now are in the presence of God. Both shaped me as a faithful man.

For your reflection: Who are those who have gone before you that have taught you faith? Share their stories with others and be encouraged.

Dear God, Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood. Thank you for eternal hope found in the death and resurrection of your Son. Amen.