Around the tomb was the guard of Roman soldiers. They were to keep strict watch, that the body of Jesus might not be molested. Some of them were constantly pacing to and fro before the tomb, while the others rested on the ground near by.
But there was another guard around that tomb. Mighty angels from Heaven were there. Any one of this angel guard, by putting forth his power, could have stricken down the whole Roman army.
The night preceding the morning of the first day of the week has worn slowly away, and the darkest hour, just before daybreak, has come.
One of the most powerful angels is sent from Heaven. His countenance is like lightning, and his garments white
as snow. He parts the darkness from his track, and the whole heavens are lighted with his glory.
The sleeping soldiers awake, and start to their feet. With awe and wonder they gaze at the open heavens, and the vision of brightness which is nearing them.
The earth trembles and heaves as that powerful being from another world approaches. He is coming on a joyful errand, and the speed and power of his flight shake the world like a mighty earthquake. Soldiers, officers, and sentinels fall as dead men to the ground.
There had been still another guard about the Saviour's tomb. Evil angels were there. Because the Son of God had fallen in death, His body was even then claimed as the prey of him who has the power of death--the devil.
The angels of Satan were present to see that no power should take Jesus from their grasp. But as the mighty being sent from the throne of God approached, they fled in terror from the scene.
The angel laid hold of the great stone at the mouth of the tomb, and rolled it away, as if it had been but a pebble. Then with a voice that caused the earth to tremble, he cried:
"Jesus, Thou Son of God, come forth. Thy Father calls Thee!"
Then He who had earned the power over death and the grave came forth from the tomb. Above the rent sepulchre He proclaimed, "I am the resurrection, and the life."And the angel host bowed low in adoration before the Redeemer, and welcomed Him with songs of praise.
Jesus came forthwith the tread of a conqueror. At His
presence the earth reeled, the lightning flashed, and the thunder rolled.
An earthquake marked the hour when Christ laid down His life. An earthquake also witnessed the moment when He took it up in triumph.
Satan was bitterly angry that his angels had fled at the approach of the heavenly messengers. He had dared to hope that Christ would not take up His life again,and that the plan of redemption was to fail. But as he saw the Saviour come forth from the tomb in triumph, all hope was lost. Satan now knew that his kingdom would have an end, and that he must finally be destroyed.