I sat quietly at the graveside of my father, waiting for the private family burial of my mother to begin. The funeral director carried the urn that held her ashes. My heart felt numb and my head was in a fog. How can I handle losing them both within just 3 months? In my grief I felt loss and loneliness and a little hopeless facing a future without them.

Then the pastor read about another graveside. On the first day of the week, early in the morning, women went to Jesus’ tomb, carrying spices for His body (Matt. 28:1; Luke 24:1). There they were startled to find an open and empty tomb—and an angel. “Do not be afraid,” he said to them (Matt. 28:5). They didn’t need to be afraid of the empty tomb or of the angel, because he had good news for them.

Hope stirred when I heard the next words: “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said” (v.6). Because Jesus had come back to life, death had been conquered! Jesus reminded His followers just a few days before His death: “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19).

Even though we grieve at the loss of our loved ones, we find hope through the resurrection of Jesus and His promise that there is life after death.