Anglican Morning Devotion, 10 June 2021 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.” (Matthew 28:5-7; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
There are no events in history that are more certainly documented and acclaimed than that of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was seen by more than 500 hundred witnesses not to mention those of His close acquaintance among the disciples. The Roman cohort assigned the duty of keeping night watch at the sealed tomb were the first to witness the shocking moment of the tomb’s opening accompanied by an earthquake and the descent of a great Angel. (see Matthew 28:1-10)
The resurrection of our Lord followed many astonishing prophecies of the event. Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God sacrificed before the Foundation of the World. He is fully represented by the Passover Lamb. “They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep.” (Numbers 9:12) Our Lord was removed from the cross with unbroken bones before the dawning of the Sabbath Passover at sunset. Jesus was laid in a borrowed tomb of a wealthy man. (see John 19:60) This is wonderful news to our ears for we, too, who follow Christ all the way shall also be laid down in a borrowed tomb until the resurrection of all righteous.
The Thirty Nine Articles of Religion (Art IV) codifies the Doctrine of the Resurrection with many infallible proofs.
ARTICLE IV: Of the Resurrection of Christ:
Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of Man’s nature; wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all Men at the last day.
We also quote this biblically supported doctrine in the Apostles Creed: “On the third day He arose again from the dead and ascended unto Heaven.” Jesus told His own disciples that He would arise from the grave: “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)
The resurrection of Christ is not simply a historical fact, but a spiritual imperative! If Christ is not arisen from the dead, we are without hope. “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Corinthians 15:17-19) Paul clearly states the gist of the matter, but also follows up with a profound assurance: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)
It cannot be in the scope of a brief devotion to reveal the many additional evidences, both in scripture and secular history, of the resurrection; but it is hoped that our spiritual curiosities will be spurred to study the subject in-depth for the edification of our souls and our spiritual health. Just as important as the sacrificial and redemptive death of our Lord on the cross is the matter of His Resurrection for He is just as He claimed to be for us – “. . .the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6) If that life ends at the grave, then our tombs are not as His tomb was – borrowed. But it does not! He sits on the right hand of God the Father as Lord, Savior, and exclusive Intercessor for His chosen. And it is certain that He lives!