Pastor’s Message April

Empty is Good

Matthew 28:1-6 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.  The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.  The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”

Is there any day quite like today? Easter Sunday has a beauty and glory all its own. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! The beauty and glory of this day stem from a wonderful fact: The women who walked to Jesus’ grave early on Easter Sunday morning did not find a huge circular stone blocking the entrance. The stone had been rolled back. The tomb was empty.

Ordinarily, empty is not good. An empty gas tank won’t get you anywhere. Cupboards that are empty won’t satisfy your hunger. A wallet or purse that is empty won’t pay any bills. In the case of Jesus’ tomb, though, empty is good. In fact, if Jesus’ tomb were not empty, there would be no reason for joy today or any other day. The apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians that if Jesus’ tomb were not empty, his preaching and their faith would have been useless. Worst of all, they would not have enjoyed forgiveness for their sins, and there would have been no point in looking ahead to the future.

Thankfully the Corinthians did not have to worry about those consequences. Nor do you. Jesus’ tomb was empty. Oh, it was occupied for parts of three days, but it was empty just when it was supposed to be. And that empty tomb is full of meaning. Jesus’ empty tomb proclaims that God the Father accepted his Son’s holy life and sacrificial death as the full payment for the world’s sins, including yours. Jesus’ empty tomb announces that death has been conquered, and because Jesus lives, so too will you – forever.

He whose tomb is empty now desires that you have life and have it to the full. A life filled with forgiveness, peace, and joy is exactly what you have through Spirit-worked faith in the risen Savior.