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President Gordon B. Hinckley
Just outside the walls of Jerusalem, in this place or somewhere nearby, was the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea where the body of the Lord was interred. On the third day following His burial “came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. …
“And the angel … said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matt. 28:1–2, 5–6).
These are the most reassuring words in all of human history. Death—universal and final—had now been conquered. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
To Mary, the Risen Lord first appeared. He spoke to her, and she replied. He was real. He was alive, He whose body had been laid in death. Small wonder that when Thomas later saw Him with His wounded hands and side, he exclaimed in wonder, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
Never had this occurred before. There had been only death without hope. Now there was life eternal. Only a God could have done this. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ was the great crowning event of His life and mission. It was the capstone of the Atonement. The sacrifice of His life for all mankind was not complete without His coming forth from the grave, with the certainty of the Resurrection for all who have walked the earth.
Of all the victories in the chronicles of humanity, none is so great, none so universal in its effects, none so everlasting in its consequences as the victory of the crucified Lord, who came forth from the tomb that first Easter morning.
Those who were witnesses of that event, all who saw and heard and spoke with the Risen Lord, testified of the reality of this greatest of all miracles. His followers through the centuries lived and died in proclamation of the truth of this supernal act.
To all of these we add our testimony that He who died on Calvary’s cross arose again in wondrous splendor as the Son of God, the Master of life and death.