“Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28:6 (KJV)
Mary Magdalene came early to the Tomb of our Lord while it was yet dark. At some point, she was joined by the other Mary, and both were shocked to find the stone rolled away. The women were consoled by the great angel at the Tomb who told them to fear not. This is always God’s message to His people whether lowly shepherds or beloved
disciples. Let’s examine that Tomb in which no man had ever lain.
The setting of the Garden Tomb has always fascinated the Bible scholar who seeks deeper understanding. Let us observe that our Lord had a bed borrowed from the beast of the field (a manger) for His bed at His coming. And He died on a cross for us upon which we should have died for our own sins. And now He is buried in a borrowed tomb wherein no man had been lain. “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9) The Lord died between two thieves whose body was cast into the ravine below that was the waste disposal area for Jerusalem, but our Lord was not subjected to that disgrace – but was
buried in a borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathea for three days only. Our Lord was the first to be buried in that tomb. Because of that fact, it could never be argued that it may have been some other who rose from the dead that first Easter morning.
Moreover, that Tomb was hewn out of a solid rock wall. How appropriate that the Rock of our Salvation should be therein laid as His Tomb. A large stone of many hundreds of pounds was rolled over the door to prevent entry, or exit, from the Tomb. But even the Official Seal of the Roman Empire could not hold our Lord in that Tomb. And neither can any government edict or declaration prevent Christ from Coming forth today.
The two women mentioned in Matthew took no interest in the mighty angel despite his glorious appearance – nothing could deter them from seeking the body of their
presumably dead Lord. They placed greater value in His dead body than many Christians
today of His Living body.
The two Mary’s were the first to carry the fulness of the Gospel to the other
disciples – that the Lord had risen according to the prophets and, as well, to their
John and Peter ran to the sepulcher. “And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and
believed.” (John 20:5-8) There is much speculation about the napkin lying alone to the side. The napkin, in my view, represented the veil of tears placed over the face of the body at death. But that veil was no longer needed, for our Lord had removed that veil which had blinded His elect in from knowing their Savior face-to-face.
Many Christians today still have that veil over their faces to blind them to the greater beauty and promise of the Gospel. He is our Victory over death, our hope of the ages, our Rock and Fortress. We may know Him as the Savior who died for us, but we should also share in the greater beauty of His Resurrection in knowing Him intimately and without the veil which blinds us to that beauty.
In a sense, our sins were buried with Him in that Rock Tomb, but they do not arise from that Tomb as our Lord arose. They are washed away and forgotten of those who know and love Him.
Happy Easter to all, and may God return the hearts of our people to the Sovereign who guided and established us as a nation under God.
In Christ Alone at Eastertide.
Jerry L. Ogles
† Jerry L. Ogles, D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary