Mark 16:6, He said to them, “Do not be frightened. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen. He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
What happened inside the tomb is a marvelous mystery. Did angels hover? Was there a holy gasp from heaven when the stone was rolled into place? Was the Father counting each second that passed until it was time to whisper to His Son, “Rise and come home.”
The disciples had been told, both in parables and plain speech, that the resurrection would take place. Yet apparently, they did not understand that He must rise from the dead (John 20:9). It is tempting, with our modern luxuries of study Bibles and commentaries, to judge them. After all, they had walked with Jesus as He healed and taught. They had heard Him talk about destroying and raising the temple. How could they not understand? But, how could they have known the wonder of the Christ rising from the grave?
We may not know the secrets of the tomb, but there is something we do know: the Christmas manger was always about the cross, and the cross was always about the empty tomb. They are intricately linked, and all three events – birth, death, and resurrection – had to take place in order for us to be given the hope of salvation. When writing to the Corinthians, Paul said, “If Christ has not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).
My friend, Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.