Therefore my heart is glad . . . because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. (Acts 2:26–27)
THE BODY OF MUHAMMAD lies enshrined behind gold mesh and black curtains at the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The remains of Confucius are buried in a cemetery in Qufu, Shandong Province, China. And, after Buddha’s body was cremated, his relics were placed in various monuments, like the Temple of the Tooth in Sri Lanka, where his followers may visit his “right tooth relic.”
In sharp contrast, there is little to show for Jesus’ burial place. Like hotels whose claim to fame is that an important person once slept there, two different sites in Jerusalem claim to be the place Jesus’ body lay during the three days before His resurrection. But Jesus had no need of a permanent tomb; He needed only to borrow one for a few days. The angel set the record straight: “He is not here; He is risen.”
Why is this distinction so important? The Bible says that the last enemy to be destroyed is death. A holy man who promises eternal life but can be held by the grave isn’t who he claims to be. But Jesus, God in the flesh, conquered death, hell, and the grave. Because He lives, we shall live also, and news like that is just too good to keep to ourselves!
Be bold for Jesus, because you carry the hope a hopeless world is hungry for.
Neil S. Bowers lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and four children. A state correctional officer, he enjoys poetry and wood carving.