How is it that Christians have a day of rest and worship on Sunday rather than Saturday? The original witnesses of a new era of history found that the tomb of Jesus was empty “toward the dawn of the first day of the week.”
There was a “great earthquake” and an “angel” appearance which caused the soldiers to tremble. The message of the heavenly ambassador to the women who had observed both the death and burial of Jesus was momentous: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. See, I have told you.” Soon after this the resurrected Jesus appeared to His friends and reinforced these encouraging words with His own voice.
The guards who had been sent to secure the tomb passed along a false report for many years that was suggested by the chief priests: “His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.” This lie does not fit reason or the facts that we have in the gospels. Could Peter and the other scattered and frightened men have ever done such a thing? Only the resurrection of the Messiah makes sense of the details we have in the Bible.
The directive that the King of the church gave to the apostles when they met in Galilee has rocked the world for centuries. The followers of Jesus were to “make disciples.” This would necessitate going, baptizing, and teaching people to observe the Word of Christ. His promise to His followers: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Christians are called to rejoice in the good news of the One who died and is alive forevermore. His life in us empowers believers throughout the world to complete the mission that He has given to His church.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
God of Glory, Your Son is risen! The stone is rolled away and the tomb is empty. More than this, our Savior has met with His apostles. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. We must go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Triune Name. We will teach and do what He has commanded. Our confidence is in His presence, for He is with us always, even to the end of the age. Remove from us all remaining doubt, and strengthen us by Your Spirit that we might stand firm in the face of every foe, for Jesus is Lord, forever and ever.