The silence was deafening in that tomb. Imagine, the dead corpse of Jesus Christ had been prepared for burial by his followers. His cold, stiff body was mummified and was placed in a borrowed, dark tomb in the side of a hill. Roman soldiers rolled a huge, heavy stone in front of its entrance and guards stood on the other side.
Silence and Darkness reigned inside the cave. No heartbeat. No groaning. No breathing. No human movement. There was simply no sound and no light continually, second by second, minute by minute and hour by hour. In the spiritual realm, one could hear the loud warring of the principalities of light and darkness. On the outside of the tomb, there were shouts of victory by scoffers and laughing by mockers. There were screams of terror at the shaking of the earthquakes and the tearing of the veil at the Temple’s Holy of Holies. There were gasps of shock and yelps of weeping by Jesus’ followers, who had put all of their trust in Him.
Think about those three days for them. Think of how foolish His disciples felt. You can almost imagine their temptation in thinking, “Why did I leave my job to follow Him? Why did I give up the last three years and turn my back on my family who told me that it was a hoax? Why did I give up everything that I had to follow this loon? People told me that he was a fake. They told me that He was just a man and a good teacher. Gosh, I feel like such fool? I’ve wasted my life.”
You have to wonder if any thoughts like these entered their minds during those three days? I bet the people who told his followers not to follow Jesus, felt sorry for them, now that Jesus was a mummy in a quiet, dark tomb. I bet they felt pity towards the disciples, don’t you?
The apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is central to His followers’ faith.
“12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” -1 Corinthians 15:12-19
If He didn’t rise from the dead, then we have no hope and we should be most pitied. If the grave didn’t spit Jesus out after three days like the whale did Jonah, then there is no hope for His followers to beat sin and death. If He didn’t rise, then we are fools and we’ve wasted our lives and our time. If He didn’t overwhelm the grave and come forth, roll away the stone and leave His grave clothes in a pile, then we are doomed and must take the penalty of our sin upon ourselves. We must spend an eternity separated from God in hell (Romans 6:23).
Thump, thump. Thump, thump. On that third day, a pounding Jewish heart pierced the silence. Breath. Cough, cough, cough. Deep breath. On that day of all days, the One who breathed life into Adam, filled up his own lungs with air. The sound of life was furious and victorious. The eyes of the One who said “Let there be light” in the beginning opened up his blood clotted eye-lids and walked out into the light. It is true. It is real. The resurrection is what we celebrate on Easter Sunday. It is what we celebrate every Lord’s day. And, it is the very truth that we, as Christ followers, should celebrate every moment. Jesus’ victory over sin, Satan, and death, by His resurrection, is central to our faith. This is where all hope lies for the believer, and it is true!