You are hired. I love you. It’s a girl. You made it. He’s not here. Three-word sentences can carry great power, especially the last one just listed. He’s not here reflects three Greek words Matthew recorded as the lead into the declaration by the angel of Jesus being resurrected. Let’s think about those three Greek words for a moment.
He’s. This word assumes existence. The Greek word used was a derivative of the same Greek word used by Jesus when standing before the Jewish religious leaders the night of His betrayal when He declared “I am He” (Luke 22:70). It is the same base Greek word found in the seven “I am” statements recorded in John’s Gospel. The angel pointed out that the women were there to seek Jesus; not just His body, but Jesus Himself (see Matt. 28:5). We are more than a body and the angel’s words point to this truth. These women did not fully understand they would find more than a lifeless body, but that was what they got, a resurrected Jesus. He Is.
Not. As is true in most languages, this word negates another word. Interestingly, the first word of this sentence in the Greek text is the word translated not. The sentence literally reads Not He’s Here. One would do this to emphasize the not. We might say it this way: No, no, no, no, He’s not here.
Not points to an unmet expectation, but in a good way. Any empty tomb was not what was expected. The women went there with the full expectation of finding a sealed tomb in which lay the body of Jesus. They expected to need someone to remove the stone so they could access the tomb. What they found was an open tomb. A tomb no longer occupied or needed. Not.
Here. This Greek word points to presence or being in a specific place. The women had followed Joseph and Nicodemus to this spot, this here, as they carried the beaten and battered body of Jesus and placed it in this tomb. If not here, then who has His body? The angel removed that question when he declared that Jesus was raised. The grave had been conquered and there was no reason for Jesus to be here; a grave. He had a new here. Here.
As we come to this Easter weekend, we can celebrate that Jesus is not in that tomb. The Bible tells us that He is with the Father in His rightful place. He approaches the Father on our behalf waiting for the Father to give Him the green light to gather all believers. We live in anticipation of that day, living in light of the forgiveness found in His death and the power supplied through His resurrection.
He is not here!