BREAKING THROUGH the gloom of death and hovering over the seeming finality of the grave there abides the certainty of the resurrection morning; a morning centuries ago when two men in dazzling robes stood in an empty tomb and exclaimed, “Why seek ye the living among the dead: He is not here, but is risen: …” and, the certainty of a yet future morning when, “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: … and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

The true significance of the Cross is inexorably linked with the empty tomb, for without the Resurrection our Lord’s death would have been the symbol of a lost cause.

And without the Resurrection there would have been no Gospel to preach.

As God’s redemptive work for sinful man unfolds, the Resurrection emerges as an absolute necessity. Prior to any resurrection there must have been death, and we know that death came into this world because of sin. If Christ’s work of redemption was to be effective then he must triumph over all the results of sin. The Resurrection therefore becomes living proof of his power as Saviour.

The ground itself was a partaker of the curse of sin: “Thorns and thistles shall it cause to bud.” The crown of thorns worn at Calvary was not merely a symbol of the derision of his tormentors. Rather we believe it to be a divinely ordained symbol of bearing in his body the penalty of sin in man and in nature.

Writing of the ultimate triumph of the Gospel, Isaiah tells of a day when: “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not ...

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