The next twelve months were exciting, and yet terrible at the same time. My new-found love for Christ had spilled over into my entire life, and several of my friends were very uncomfortable being around me. Part of that was definitely my fault: I assumed a "know-it-all" attitude about Christianity, though I was still only a babe in Christ.
A year later, when Resurrection Sunday rolled around again, I eagerly entered the worship service at the church I attended. The cover of the worship bulletin depicted a painting of a scene from inside the tomb, where death had been, and it was dark. Through the open door one could see out into the beauty of nature, where life was, to see the trees budding with the arrival of spring.
At the bottom were these words: "He is not here."
The awesome truth of that grabbed me for the very first time. I realized that nothing – nothing – I had done was worthy of the horrible price Jesus had paid for me, and He was NOT THERE in the tomb any longer. I found the sins of my heart to be detestable things, and I sat there on that pew, through the entire service, weeping over my sin and His incomparable love for me.
Years later, having saved that worship bulletin (which I still have, by the way), I located an artist who would paint that scene for me. I have it framed and hanging on a wall in my study as a regular and visible reminder of what Jesus did for me.
All these long years later, the truth of what the angel said echoes through the halls of eternity: "HE IS NOT HERE; HE IS RISEN, JUST AS HE SAID!"
Praise His Name!