By Gordon Lindsay
This is very likely the last article written by Gordon Lindsay before the Lord called him home in April 1973, first published in the April 1974 issue of Christ For The Nations magazine.
“‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
Over 4,000 years ago, Job asked the question, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). Fortunately, he was able to find the answer, as in Job 19:25-27 he says, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the Earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
Of all the religions of the world, only Christianity dares to offer the hope of resurrection.
AT THE EMPTY TOMB
Not long ago, I stood at the empty tomb in Jerusalem. I have never gone there without a feeling of deep emotion, realizing that death that had been defeated. Over the world there are billions of graves, marking the universality of death, but this tomb is empty! Only one Man was able to meet death and make it bow, cause it to flee in terror!
Yet for a short time, death claimed victory even there. Up above that tomb, less than a hundred yards away, stands Mount Calvary. Jesus took the place of a man and hung on a rugged cross between Earth and Heaven. In my mind, I can envision the events that took place there.
I see Him in His agony while the women and His frightened mother Mary look on, shaken with grief and sorrow. I hear Him say to the thief crucified beside Him, who asked the Lord to remember him in His kingdom, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” I hear Him say, “It is finished,” completing the plan of salvation.
I see the body of Christ taken from the cross, wrapped in grave clothes and placed in the cold tomb. Soon a great stone is rolled against the tomb, and soldiers who were appointed to watch over it file into the garden. The disciples are bewildered and discouraged. They are now hiding for their lives, fearful that the Sanhedrin will perhaps give them treatment as Jesus received.
All is still at the tomb as the hours pass. But God’s clock is ticking away. One day, two days, three. In the dead of night, Heaven’s clock suddenly strikes the hour! The lighting of God flashes! An angel comes from heaven, rolls back the stone and sits upon it! Those guarding the tomb witness the quaking and fall to the ground as dead. Recovering, they rise to their feet and flee from that place. The tomb is now empty. The grave clothes lie there as if the person they had enfolded evaporated through them.
Soon, as the day begins to break, the women are drawing near the tomb to complete the act of preparing the body for its long residence. They are conversing one with another in subdued tones, “Who will roll away the stone from the tomb?” As it comes into view, the women simultaneously utter a cry of surprise. “The stone is rolled away!” Then they perceive an angelic being sitting on the stone, who informs them, “He is not here, for He is risen. Come see the place where the Lord lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples…”
Upon hearing the astounding news, Peter and John rush to the garden to see what has happened. John, who is faster than Peter, arrives first, sees the open tomb, but does not enter. Peter, lumbering on behind, reaches the tomb, but does not pause in his stride until he is inside. They both find the tomb empty.
When the other disciples hear about what has happened, they dare not believe the report, fearing they will be disappointed once more. Meanwhile, the Lord appears to Peter, who remembers too well how he denied his Master. We can only imagine the tears and the heartbroken confession he must make as he falls at the Master’s feet. Gently, the Lord has him stand to his feet as He reassures His penitent disciple.
That night Jesus appears to all the disciples, except for Thomas, who is absent. Then He appears several times at different places. And finally, on the last day, He leads them out to Mount Olivet and gives them the Great Commission as found in Mark 16:15-18: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
The world evangelism that followed that command can only be explained by that one word – RESURRECTION! The apostles have seen Him dead and buried, but now they see Him alive again! Under the inspiration of this great event, they go everywhere, preaching the Word and making disciples.
Today, we too have heard this glorious message. Once again, the cry of Pilate, who gave Christ over to crucifixion, goes forth to every person living on the earth: “What then will you do with Jesus which is called the Christ?” To accept Him means to receive life. He says, “Because I live, you shall live also.” May God grant that everyone who reads these words be ready to meet Him when we see Him face to face on the coming day of the Great Resurrection.
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