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John 20:1-9 (NIV)
The Empty Tomb
20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
What is your proof Jesus rose from the dead?
Heavenly Father, Your Word is true and reliable. Over 400 Old Testament prophesies were accurately fulfilled by Your life, death, and resurrection. That is proof that no one could have manipulated what happened. What is written in Your Word is trustworthy and true. Your crucifixion was a horrendous and traumatic event for Your followers. They were clearly distraught and so afraid that they were hiding. That wouldn’t have been so if it was a charade. The empty tomb discovered by the women on Sunday morning was unexpected, even after You told them it would happen. Not only was the large stone, that was secured with seals, moved away from the entrance, but it was tossed aside, which no group of men could have done. The linen cloths and the expensive spices were neatly left in the empty tomb, what thief would have had the time and been so considerate? The Bible records events where You had been seen by many, even more than 500 people at one time. You even ate with Your followers to prove that You were physically alive. The once fearful and cowering disciples boldly risked their lives and all they had to proclaim the news that You had risen. They began preaching in Jerusalem, in the very same city where You had recently been buried where the people could have gone to the tomb to validate the news for themselves. The fact that Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, was specifically named would have exposed fraud immediately if it were not true because he was still alive and would have refuted any inaccuracy. Because of their preaching on the resurrection, Your followers were beaten, persecuted, and even killed, but their testimony never changed. Why would they go through all of this for a deliberate lie? Thank You, Lord, that the evidence is so clear and available for anyone to examine. I know that I can trust in Your Word. But it is more than just believing in the historical events, I know that You are alive today. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The same power and energy that raised You from the dead now live in me. I know that You are alive because I feel You in my soul, I see Your hand working in my life, I hear Your voice in Your Word, and I am guided by Your Spirit. I praise You, my risen Lord and Savior. Give me the conviction of the disciples to boldly proclaim the truth of Your Mercy and Grace to those I come in contact with. Assist all people to see, trust and believe in what You have done for them out of Your great love for them. Let them accept Your gift of Grace and You as their Redeemer. Amen