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Apr9ThuEaster’s empty tomb means nothing will ever be the same. April 9, 2020 by Commissioner Floyd Tidd
They thought everything had changed when they saw Jesus taken down from the cross, his bruised, broken and lifeless body laid in a tomb and sealed with a stone. All the hopes and dreams of the new kingdom he talked about now fading into the confusion and grief that accompanied the darkened sky over Calvary that Friday afternoon.
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Nothing would ever be the same again. No truer statement could ever be made.
In the early hours of the third day, his followers went to the tomb where he was buried. They found nothing they expected. His body wasn’t there. The stone was rolled away, revealing an empty tomb. It was this moment of finding nothing that changed everything—and still changes everything today.
The empty tomb stands as a witness to the power and promise-keeping faithfulness of God! Jesus told his disciples he would rise from the dead. The empty tomb validates every teaching and promise of Jesus. The power of God, even over death, was clearly demonstrated when they found the tomb empty.
When they found nothing, the disciples realized that everything had truly changed. This empty tomb discovery was the beginning of a journey into a new and deepening understanding of Jesus, his teaching and mission. The life-changing implications of finding nothing in that tomb would take days, weeks and a lifetime to understand. Finding nothing they had anticipated changed everything in a moment and for eternity.
Throughout the journey of life come those moments when we may find nothing we had expected.
The same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power that is available to his followers today through his Spirit.This is as true for followers of Jesus today as it was that first Easter morning. When things seem to go in unexpected ways, how often we look for some normalcy in life and keep taking the next steps as best we can. Yet those moments can still come when what we thought would still be there, isn’t. We find nothing. Nothing, and sometimes no one!
That first Easter, as Jesus was crucified and buried, his followers were trying to find a sense of normalcy in the midst of an unexpected turn of events. Not only was Jesus dead, even his body was gone. How alone they found themselves.
Although Jesus wasn’t in the tomb, he was with them in ways they didn’t anticipate. That was the greatest discovery.
This Easter, Christians around the globe will once again take the journey from Calvary, remembering the sacrificial love of God as Jesus died upon a cross, to the Sunday morning celebration of his Resurrection. The stone that sealed the tomb had been rolled away not so Jesus could escape the grave, but so that his disciples would find nothing. Nothing would be as they had expected.
In all our abundance, it is not until we find the “nothing” of the empty tomb that we truly experience that our heartfelt longing for deep change is possible. As we gaze into the truth of Easter, we are invited to embrace the deep change and transformation that finding the tomb empty offers. May we know afresh that every promise God has made, he is faithful to keep—the empty tomb is proof. “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures” (Psalm 119:89-90). Know afresh that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power that is available to his followers today through his Spirit (see Ephesians 1:19-20).
Those who found the tomb empty, even before they could fully understand all that it meant, knew that others needed to know that finding “nothing” does change everything. They spread the word. The tomb is empty. There is nothing there. Jesus is alive! Let’s not wait until we have fully understood all that the empty tomb means—that will take a whole lifetime. There are others all around us waiting for the word of hope that change is possible, because the tomb is empty.
Nothing still changes everything!
Commissioner Floyd Tidd is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory.
Photo: joshblake/iStock via Getty Images