The Empty Tomb


Read Matthew 28:1-20

1After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. 2There was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4The guards were so shaken by fear of him that they became like dead men. 5The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you.” 8So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell his disciples the news. 9Just then Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” They came up, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.” 11As they were on their way, some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12After the priests had assembled with the elders and agreed on a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money 13and told them, “Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him while we were sleeping.’ 14If this reaches the governor’s ears, we will deal with him and keep you out of trouble.” 15They took the money and did as they were instructed, and this story has been spread among Jewish people to this day. 16The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. 18Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


During Jesus’ ministry, He told His disciples, “The son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day” (Matthew 17:22-23). Jesus wanted to be sure His disciples knew exactly what would happen. As the angels stand at the tomb, they say to the disciples looking for Jesus, “He is not here. For He has risen, just as He said” (Matthew 28:6). Everything happened just as He said it would.

As Christians, we love what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. He paid the price that we never could so that we could spend eternity with Him. At the same time, the empty tomb was the one that made all the difference! Jesus’ Lordship is unquestionable as He steps out of the empty tomb and fulfills every promise He made. Everything happened just as He said it would.

If Jesus were still dead after explaining that He would rise again, we probably wouldn’t think much of Him but we don’t have to worry about that. Why? Because He lives! Jesus Christ rose from the dead and because He rose from the dead you can have confidence in every promise Jesus has for your life and what He has in store for you when He returns.


What are some of God’s promises to you that you are most thankful for today?

What would you think of Jesus if He were still dead today?

How does Jesus want us to respond to His death and resurrection?