I love Easter Sunday. I love the celebratory music we sing at church. I love the passages of Scripture we read during worship.
Most of all, I love the visual image of the Empty Tomb.
In one culminating and specific moment in history, Jesus Christ summarizes and finalizes the salvation narrative.
There are six things in particular that I love about the Empty Tomb.
1. The Empty Tomb reveals that God is faithful.
Centuries earlier, after Adam and Eve rebelled, God promised that he would crush wrong once and for all (Genesis 3:15). He vowed to send his Son to defeat sin and death by his crucifixion and resurrection.
For thousands of years, God neither forgot nor turned from his promise. He didn’t grow weary, nor would he be distracted. He made a promise, and he controlled the events of history so that at just the right moment, Jesus Christ would come and fulfill what had been promised.
2. The Empty Tomb reveals that God is powerful.
Think of the authority you need to have to control all the situations, locations, and relationships to guarantee that Jesus would come at the precise moment and do what he was appointed to do. Also, could there be a more pointed demonstration of authority than to have power over death (1 Corinthians 15:55)?
By God’s awesome power, Jesus took off his grave clothes and walked out of that tomb. Human beings are capable of some pretty amazing things, but we’ll all die, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
3. The Empty Tomb reveals that God is loving.
Why would God go to such an extent to help us? Why would he care to notice us, let alone rescue us? Why would he ever sacrifice his own Son? Not only is God loving - he is the definition of love (John 3:16, 1 John 4:8).
You and I need to recognize that his love was not motivated by what he saw in us, but by what is inside him. Even when we’re unloving and rebellious, full of ourselves and wanting our own way, God is still loving. He delights in transforming us by his grace and rescuing us by his love.
4. The Empty Tomb guarantees eternity.
No matter how mundane, routine, and slowly progressing your story seems to be, it’s marching towards a glorious conclusion. There will be a moment when God raises you out of this broken world into a paradise where sin and suffering will be no more (1 Corinthians 15:52, Revelation 21:4).
5. The Empty Tomb guarantees security.
No matter how unpredictable and out-of-control your life feels, Jesus is reigning, and he will continue to reign until the final enemy is under his feet (1 Corinthians 15:25). That doesn’t mean you won’t experience pain and hurt in this world, but it does mean there’s nothing Jesus does not know about, cannot rescue you from, or redeem and transform.
6. The Empty Tomb guarantees delivery.
No matter how hopeless and weak you think you are, you’ve been provided with all the grace you need to make it to the end. Future grace always carries with it the promise of present grace. God will provide everything you need until you see him face to face (2 Peter 1:3).
That’s why I love Easter Sunday so much!
1. Which of these six truths are most encouraging to you right now, and why?
2. How can you remind yourself of that truth after Easter Sunday has come and gone? Be specific.
3. Which friend or family member needs to be reminded of one of these six Easter truths, and why?
4. How can you reach out to them this week and encourage them with that gospel truth about Easter?