24 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. Luke 24:1-8
The women at the tomb were told the obvious: “He is not here; he has risen!” It was perhaps the second biggest announcement of all time, the first being the birth of Christ.
It’s a message that is celebrated and heralded throughout the world this time of year.
It’s the same message that infuriates those who don’t believe its words, and confounds those who wonder what the big hullabaloo is all about. The message that a perfect man, claiming to be God, died on the cross, was buried for three days, and was resurrected is the single most divisive words throughout the religious world.
It’s a message that causes divisions in families, neighborhoods, and within nations. On this very day, people will be slaughtered and churches burned down because of the hatred in the hearts of those who despise His followers.
So we rejoice with Believers all around the world but must also pray for them as they worship.
Lord Jesus, we do rejoice that you have provided a way to get to the Father. It involved much pain and heartache, and ultimately your death on the cross. But we also realize that if you were still in the tomb, there would really be nothing to celebrate. But because you have risen from the dead, you triumphed over death and hell. Now, Lord on this day, I lift up Believers in countries that persecute Christians. Lord, Easter is a day that the evil one strikes and many may lose their lives. Would you strengthen and encourage Believers around the world on this day. Would you also confuse the minds of those who would seek to harm them? In Christ’ Name. Amen.