He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay(Matthew 28:6)
Christ frequently predicted His coming death, but never did He predict His death without also predicting that He would rise from the dead (i.e., Matthew 17:22,23). His persecutors even knew of this prediction and attempted to prohibit it by placing guards at the tomb (Matthew 27:6366).
That He died should come as no surprise. Everyone dies, and Christ had been hounded by death. Herod had tried to kill Him as a baby (Matthew 2:16). Satan tried to convince Him to jump from a high place (Matthew 4:6). The people of Nazareth attempted to throw Him over a cliff (Luke 4:29). The Pharisees, for some time, had sought to kill Him.
Jesus had come to die, but His death had to be a specific death. He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). The will of the Father, which He had come to do, included not only His sacrificial death but His resurrection as well, to gain the victory over hell and death (Revelation 1:18). When the time came He did die, bearing our sins on the cross. And as our text tells us, He arose from the dead just as He said He would.
The resurrection cannot be over-emphasized. We have no assurance of His deity, nor forgiveness of sins, nor eternal life apart from His resurrection. If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins (I Corinthians 15:17).
The enemies of the cross know this. They still seek to destroy the young child, denying His incarnation and virgin birth. Priests and politicians still crucify the Lord and set guards over His grave, declaring Him to be dead. But, as we see in our text, He is risen, as He said. By this fact, we can be assured that it is the skeptics and the detractors who are on trial. They either will come to the cross for salvation or be cast by it into eternal darkness. JDM