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“I believe in . . . the resurrection of the body, and the life

everlasting. Amen.”

Easter joy has to do with Jesus’ grave. What was in that grave on Easter morning? Almost nothing. Very definitely, Jesus’ body was not there. The disciples fully expected it to be. They had completely forgotten Jesus’ promise to rise again the third day. They were prepared only to finish the embalming. Hope in Jesus as the Savior was at low ebb.

The women found something in the tomb. They found an angel who startled them with the news that Jesus was not there. They were assured that Jesus had risen and would meet the disciples later.

When the women reported that Jesus’ body was gone, Peter and John rushed to see. All they found was the grave clothing with which the body had been wrapped. The head cloth was neatly folded and lying by itself.

What did it all mean? It meant that Jesus had truly risen from the dead. His body had not been removed by either friend or foe. The disciples hadn’t even thought of taking it from the tomb. At any rate, the guards would have prevented it. The grave clothes were proof that the body had not been snatched away during the likely event that the guards had fallen asleep. Any who might have done so certainly would not have taken the time to remove them, let alone fold them.

The best proof that Jesus had risen was the doubt of the disciples. They did not expect a resurrection. It took a number of appearances by Jesus to convince them that He was indeed alive. But they were convinced. They were so certain that Jesus had risen that they spent the rest of their lives bringing that good news to others.

That good news is meant for us too. We are to believe that Jesus was not in the grave Easter morning. We are to believe what Jesus’ resurrection guarantees to us. Our sins are forgiven. Through Jesus the way to eternal life is open for us. That is the reason for true joy at Easter.

May all of your Easters be truly joyous.

–Keith Olmanson