On the day Jesus was crucified, a sinister darkness blotted out the sun and smothered Jerusalem under a blanket of evil. It would have appeared to anyone seeing through eyes of flesh that the darkness, the devil, and death had defeated the Son of God once and for all. But what no one could see was that the Messiah’s death would strike at the very heart of evil.
Three days after Jesus was placed in the grave, on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and a group of women converged on the tomb. As they approached, they saw that the giant stone had been tossed aside. Mary Magdalene immediately ran to tell Peter and John: “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him” (John 20:2).
While Mary Magdalene was away, the other women took a closer look. The grave was gaping open. The grave wrappings lay there, still together and intact, but empty. The body was gone. They stood dumbstruck for several moments, until they realized that two angels appeared behind them. One sat on the stone while the other stood nearby. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has been raised!” (Luke 24:5–6 NET).
As word spread, a multitude began to assemble at a home in Jerusalem. With the doors locked tight, a familiar voice rose from the middle of the room. “‘Peace be with you.’ And when [Jesus] had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side” (John 20:19–20). And they believed.
Demons, darkness, and death have been vanquished, yet they continue to lash out in desperate hatred against everything in God’s creation. But not to worry . . . Jesus is alive with a new kind of life that He longs to give any and all who will believe. Are you in that company? Or, have you come to realize your need for a Savior? Good for you! The devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but the forces of evil are breathing their last. So there’s no need to worry . . . He has risen! He has risen, indeed!
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Jesus: The Greatest Life of All (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008), 233-44.