Matthew 27:66 – And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone. (NASB)
Revelation 1:18 – I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (KJV)
The 1977 movie, "Jesus of Nazareth" by Franco Zeffirelli, is my favourite film depicting the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Each time I see it, I am more inspired by the powerful script, music, and images portrayed on the screen. I especially enjoy the way the film interjects Old Testament prophecies to show the viewer how our Lord fulfilled those events, down to the very last detail.
One of the main antagonists in the movie is a Pharisee named Zerah. Remembering the Lord's prophecy that on the third day He would rise from the dead, Zerah and other members of the Sanhedrin went to Pilate requesting that a guard should be posted at Jesus' tomb. And as if that weren't enough, Jesus' enemies also made sure that the massive stone was sealed. Hence, they went to great lengths in order to silence Him forever. Ironically, their actions rendered a compelling case in favour of the resurrection. No amount of security could keep Christ in the tomb. Not only did He rise again, but He holds the keys of life and death itself! Still, when the guards reported the events which occurred on Easter Sunday morning, the religious leaders refused to believe. Zerah uttered the phrase, "Now it all begins." Perhaps he viewed the empty tomb as the beginning of a more powerful opposition against the established system.
For many believers, Christianity is a relationship with God based on a personal encounter with the risen Lord and on God's Word. We know that what we experience of that relationship here on earth is only the beginning; as He promised, the best is yet to come.
1 Corinthians 2:9 – But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (KJV)
Therefore, as we celebrate Christ's victory over death, let us also rejoice with expectation as we look to the rock of our salvation: the hope of everlasting life.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we acknowledge that all power has been given to You in heaven and on earth. You have triumphed over Your enemies and have made known to us the path of life. You alone, O Lord, are the portion of our inheritance. We look forward to the day when we shall see Your face in righteousness, fully awakened by the brightness of Your glory. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Were You There" (Lyrics)