Luke 24:1–8 (NIV84)
24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
“You have to eat all your vegetables before you get dessert,” says the exasperated parent. “We can’t leave until this project is finished,” the manager tells employees eyeing the clock. “We aren’t going out to recess until everyone is done with their work,” the teacher tells impatient students. It may be difficult but the expectations are clear: complete the work and then the reward will certainly come.
On Easter morning the women go to the tomb with work to do. When they arrive they are perplexed as there is no sign of Jesus’ body. An angel appears and asks the women what they were doing there. The angel tells the women that the tomb was a place for dead people. They would not see Jesus there because he had finished his work of dying and now he was alive, just as he said he would be.
Jesus came to this world with work to do. God had set forth a plan in eternity to save his people. He had to be born into this world and live a perfect life in our place. Never once did he sin or disobey a single commandment. He needed to be handed over to wicked men where he was crucified and he died, offered as an innocent sacrifice for guilty people. Three days later he had to rise from the dead showing that his saving work was over.
Since Jesus was not in the tomb that Easter morning we can have confidence that God’s saving work is completed. He had finished what his Father had sent him to do. With suffering and death behind him, Jesus would put the final stamp on our salvation by rising from the grave. He had done what he had set out to accomplish. He had finished what he told the disciples he would do.
Some days I feel like a pretty incomplete project. I look at my life and see the mistakes I continue to make. I am confronted by sin that habitually plagues me. I suffer the effects of living in a fallen world. All of these things can make me wonder if there is something more I have to do to. Easter assures me and reminds me that my salvation is complete. Nothing more can be done to save me because Jesus has completed it all. Jesus has finished the task of redeeming me and he has done everything he said he would do. He is not at the tomb because he has finished his work of defeating death. The work of my salvation is done and Jesus is alive.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, you sent Jesus to accomplish the work of my salvation. He has done everything well for me. Give me faith and peace to trust in Jesus’ completed work. Amen.