He Is Not Here, But Is Risen

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

In celebration of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, today’s thought to meditate on comes from an April 1999 conference talk from then President Gordon B. Hinckley (see http://bit.ly/ldsorggc).
 

Here are some quotes:
 

“‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ asked Job (Job 14:14). There is no question of greater importance than this.
 

Those of us who live in comfort and security seldom give any thought to death. Our minds are on other things. Yet there is nothing more certain, nothing more universal, nothing more final than the closure of mortal life. No one can escape it, not one.”
 

“But Jesus the Christ changed all that. Only a God could do what He did. He broke the bonds of death. He too had to die, but on the third day, following His burial, He rose from the grave, ‘the firstfruits of them that slept’ (1 Cor. 15:20), and in so doing brought the blessing of the Resurrection to every one of us.
 

Contemplating this wondrous thing, Paul declared: ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ (1 Cor. 15:55).”
 

“He was betrayed, arrested, condemned to death, to die in awful agony by crucifixion. His living body was nailed to a cross of wood. In unspeakable pain, His life slowly ebbed away. While yet He breathed, He cried out, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34).
 

The earth shook as His spirit passed. The centurion who had seen it all declared in solemnity, ‘Truly this was the Son of God’ (Matt. 27:54).
 

Those who loved Him took His body from the cross. They dressed it and placed it in a new tomb offered by Joseph of Arimathaea. The tomb was sealed with a great stone at its opening, and a guard was set.
 

His friends must have wept. The Apostles He loved and whom He had called as witnesses of His divinity wept. The women who loved Him wept. None had understood what He had said about rising the third day. How could they understand? This had never happened before. It was totally unprecedented. It was unbelievable, even for them.
 

There must have been a terrible sense of dejection and hopelessness and misery as they thought of their Lord taken from them in death.
 

But that was not the end. On the morning of the third day, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary returned to the tomb. To their utter amazement, the stone was rolled away and the tomb was open. They peered inside. Two beings in white sat at either end of the burial site. An angel appeared to them and said, ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead?
 

‘He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
 

‘Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again’ (Luke 24:5–7).
 

These simple words—’He is not here, but is risen’—have become the most profound in all literature. They are the declaration of the empty tomb. They are the fulfillment of all He had spoken concerning rising again. They are the triumphant response to the query facing every man, woman, and child who was ever born to earth.”
 

“… He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:4–5).”
 

“Thanks be to the Almighty. His glorified Son broke the bonds of death, the greatest of all victories. As Paul declared, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).
 

He is our triumphant Lord. He is our Redeemer, who atoned for our sins. Through His redeeming sacrifice all men shall rise from the grave. He has opened the way whereby we may gain not only immortality but also eternal life.
 

As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bear witness and testimony of these things this Easter day. I speak in solemnity and reverence and gratitude, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.”