Happy Easter Monday! Liturgically, the Easter season will be around for quite some time. How appropriate! We have forty days of Lent, but fifty days of Easter. So up until Pentecost, we will be taking a trip through the Acts of the Apostles in our first readings. Acts is like a real-life adventure story, so let’s enjoy! In our first reading today from Acts 2, Peter talks about King David, and how his tomb “is in our midst to this day.” In the Gospel from Matthew 28, Jesus greets the two Marys as they run from his empty tomb.
I heard a sermon many years ago from a Protestant minister that has stuck with me ever since. He was comparing the founders of the great religions of the earth, and how Christianity differed from them all. How did Jesus differ from all of these others who founded religions? Take a look at their tombs. Mohammed’s tomb? Occupied. Buddha’s tomb? Occupied. Confucious’ tomb? Occupied. Joseph Smith’s tomb? Occupied. Look all around. Some body resides in all those tombs.
Jesus’ tomb? EMPTY!!! He is not there! Why? Because He is risen from the dead. As we see in today’s first reading…”God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it.” This isn’t some half-baked conspiracy. Thousands of eyewitnesses testify to it, as we will read in the coming days. So, if anyone ever questions you as to why Christianity is so special, just give them the Tomb Test!
Father, we thank you for raising Jesus from the dead, just as you will do for all who believe in Him. May we shout from the rooftops our belief in the empty tomb. Amen.