I simply love those words that the heavenly messenger spoke to the women who came to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus that Sunday morning. “… ‘Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen; He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him.” (Mark 16:6) How significant is the bodily resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ? 1st Corinthians 15 is an entire chapter of Holy Scripture devoted to addressing that very issue.
The full gospel is a proclamation of the death, burial and bodily resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). We read elsewhere in Scripture that Jesus Christ “was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:25) If the enemies of Jesus wanted to once and for all put to death the teachings of Jesus, all they needed to do was present His dead body and put it on public display. But because they could not, they had to concoct a story to explain the disappearance of the body (Matthew 28:11-15). For not sin, the devil, nor the power of death could keep Jesus in that grave (Acts 2.24)! It is the bodily resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ which separates Christianity from all other world religions. The validity of the Christian faith hangs squarely upon it. (See Acts 1:22, 2:31, and 4:2,33 for a few examples.)
You see, if your only knowledge of Jesus is a historical one, that is not the kind of knowledge that constitutes saving faith. The apostle Paul wrote: “that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9,10) Confess with your mouth The Lord Jesus and believe in your heart… what? That The Lord Jesus is alive! He is risen! “Jesus said unto her, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live…Do you believe this?’ ” (John 11:25,26)
May the Spirit of God roll the stone of tradition and unbelief away from your eyes so that you too may behold the empty tomb and receive the risen Jesus as Lord.