'He is not here, He is risen from the dead' Matthew 28 v 6
As I am writing this, today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. For many people this will be a week of quiet reflection leading up to Easter Sunday and the glory of the empty tomb. But before the tomb came the terrible events of Calvary, and before Calvary came the events in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was there that Jesus said to His disciples' Couldn't you watch with me even one hour?....the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak'. The disciples were tired and as Jesus drew aside to pray, their eyes became heavy and one by one they fell asleep until Jesus was the only one awake through these dark hours. They did not realise the significance of the hour and how soon, so very soon their Jesus would be taken from them, hung on a cross and crucified. Yes, those were dark days, quite literally, when we read that 'darkness covered the land from the 6th to the 9th hour' as Christ hung on the cross. The disciples had never known such darkness, such despair, watching hope dying in front of their very eyes...........but God.
They say that the darkest hour is before the dawn, and certainly for those disciples it seemed an intensely dark hour but with the dawning of a new morn, came the dawning of new hope and we read those glorious words that sound though-out the annals of time 'He is not here, He is risen from the dead...'. Their hope that had died was dead no longer, their despair turned to joy and darkness was turned to light because Jesus, their Lord had indeed risen from the dead. Gethsemane was over, Calvary was over, the long dark night was over and now.........Christ is alive in the power of an endless life, and because He lives, we live also.
This Easter week, let us take time to watch with him, to remember those dark days and then let us rejoice with all the rejoicing of our being that He is indeed risen from the dead, living in resurrection power and life and that the tomb, once a symbol of death and despair now lies gloriously empty for HE IS ALIVE