The Greatest Event in World History
“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.” – John 20:1
What is the greatest event in world history? Well, let me begin by sharing with you what it is not. It was not the universal flood recorded in the book of Genesis that reshaped the geographical landscape of our entire planet. It was not the events that unfolded at the Tower of Babel which led to the development of our multilingual world population. In fact, the greatest event in world history was not even the birth of Christ. So what was the greatest event in world history? It was the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
But why is the death and resurrection of Christ the greatest event of all time? It is because through His death and resurrection, we can have victory over death, hell, and the grave (I Corinthians 15:55). It is because those who trust in Him are buried with Him, and are raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). These are just a few reasons why the death and resurrection of Christ is the single most important event in all human history. But it is also the bedrock of the Christian faith. Everything about the Christian faith rests on the glorious truth that Jesus arose physically from the dead. You see, the crucifixion of Christ would have been just another crucifixion performed by the Roman government had it not been for the resurrection that followed. The execution method of crucifixion was very common in that day. But the resurrection of our crucified Lord made everything about this particular execution very uncommon. Dr. Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis refers to the resurrection as “The Bibles greatest miracle and history’s most important fact.” Ray C. Stedman, author of the book “God’s Loving Word” said that “The resurrection is not only the Good News; it is the best news imaginable.”
In our text, there had not been time to prepare Jesus’ body for proper burial. The Sabbath had intervened and Jews were prohibited from performing any services on the Sabbath. So as soon as possible after the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene along with Mary the mother of James and Salome (Mark 16:1) set out to perform this task. You have to admire the devotion of these ladies. Oh, how they loved Jesus! Jesus deserved a proper burial, and it was the least they could do. I am sure that it was not an easy journey to the tomb that morning. Can’t you just see them walking to the tomb downtrodden, discouraged and disheartened? They had surrendered their life to Jesus Christ to follow Him, and now He was dead, and they thought it was all over. But little did they know that this morning would be the morning that their mourning ended! As we read further in our passage, we see that it was an actual encounter with the risen Savior that brought Mary Magdalene from doubting to shouting (John 20:14-18).
I suppose that the old cliché “It ain’t over till it’s over” is true; for I am convinced that this is wise advice on how we ought to live out the Christian life. We must be careful not to try and put a period on a sentence. Instead, we ought to put a comma and let God finish it. God is the author and finisher of all history; that is why it is “His-story.” Which brings me back full circle to my initial thought; the greatest chapter in history is the death and resurrection of His glorious Son, Jesus Christ.
– Pastor Eric