No need to prolong the story. Or complicate it. Or embellish it. Or try to explain it. Or defend it. Just declare it. The facts speak for themselves.
Jesus of Nazareth said He would be "in the heart of the earth" three days and nights (Matthew 12:40). Later, He said that He would "suffer...be killed, and be raised up on the third day" (Matthew 16:21).
Betrayed by Judas, He was seized, placed under arrest, pushed hurriedly through several trials (all of them illegal), and declared guilty...first of blasphemy, next of treason (Luke 22:70–23:24).
Finally, "all the disciples left Him and fled" (Matthew 26:56). Alone and forsaken, He endured the torture of scourging, the humiliation of insults and mockery, and the agony of that walk to Golgotha (Mark 15:15–22).
The horrors of crucifixion followed, leaving Him suspended for six excruciating hours...the last three of which were spent in eerie darkness that "fell over the whole land" (Mark 15:33).
By three o'clock that afternoon He uttered His final words. "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit" (Luke 23:46).
Then...He died (Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30). Two men, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, took Him down from the cross, prepared the body for burial, and placed it "in the garden [in] a new tomb" (John 19:38-41).
Because He had predicted, "After three days I am to rise again" (Matthew 27:63), the chief priests and the Pharisees had the tomb secured by a large stone, a seal set on the stone, and a body of men sent to guard the site (Matthew 27:62–66).
Guarded and sealed, the tomb was silent as He remained lifeless, untouched, and unseen until the early hours of the morning on the first day of the week (Luke 24:1–2).
Before dawn a miracle occurred. Bodily, silently, victoriously, He arose from death. In resurrected form, He passed through the stone, leaving the mummy-like wrappings still intact (John 20:1–8).
When astonished people visited the site that morning, they found the stone rolled away and the body gone. Then they were asked by angels, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen" (Luke 24:5–6).
There are many who still seek for Him among the dead. But they will never find Him there. Why? Because just as Jesus promised, He arose.
If you are among those who believe in miracles...if you find hope in Christ's Resurrection...if you thrill at the sounds of "Christ the Lord is risen today! Hallelujah!" then say so.
He is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!
Excerpted from The Finishing Touch, Copyright 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishes). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.