“Do people die with you? Have you no charm against death?”
This sad question of the natives gathered around David Livingstone in deep Africa many years ago voiced the query in every heart.
To the darkskinned man of that occasion, the white man who had come from across the rolling seas represented a new possibility for an answer to the problem of death. This same expectancy gripped the people with whom Jesus walked in days long gone. To them he seemed as one from a far country. But then he died on a cross.
On the day of the Crucifixion, what happened to the long-desired charm against death?
The answer to the cry of all hearts is found in one word—EASTER! This term has become the amulet of the spirit and the assurance of immortality.
The empty tomb (the exact location of which has been lost in the scurryings of time) has become both the proof and the symbol that the fear and power of death concern us no more. Death had taken and buried a man in a massive, rock-hewn sepulcher; callous soldiers had closed the corpse in with a huge door-stone; and across the face of the unyielding surface the soft days of sunset and sunrise had passed twice. In the meantime, hopeless mourning was creasing the souls of the deceased’s family and friends for the third day.
But on that third day …!
On that third day the empty tomb took its place in history. Early morning visitors to the burying place found the ponderous boulder rolled away and no signs of the erstwhile dead man. They found, instead, a messenger with a word for them and all mankind. “He whom you seek is not here—he is risen.”Easter had come into the world!
And how shall we describe Easter? It was that astounding, disturbing, inescapable event ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more