The Not-So-Empty Tomb.
Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. Luke 24:12 NIV
Have you ever found yourself standing in an empty tomb wondering what happened? You know, the place you end up at after everything suddenly everything spirals out of control. You find yourself standing there holding nothing but rags that used to be your life, wondering what happened. Where did I go wrong? Where did I fail? Why is this happening to me? Where are you God?
I always imagine Peter having thoughts just like these, as stood there in the empty tomb. He had made a big deal about how he would protect Jesus, but he couldn’t. In fact, when the pressure was on, Peter denied even knowing Jesus; and now, even the body of the one he loved had been taken. How could someone fail so many times? Have you ever been in Peter’s position?
I know, in my own life, that I have stood in an empty tomb on more than one occasion wondering what I had done that caused so much misery and grief. And I am willing to wager that many of have. The truth is, many of us are currently in that exact position; trying to make sense out of chaos. It can seem impossible to grasp how life can possible come from a place of death. That is the power of God.
God reminds us, through the prophet Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55:8-9NIV). While our perspective can only reach the horizon, God’s is infinite; and so His ways reflect that. His love perfects that. And He has a way of bringing life from the most unexpected or unbelievable places.
What Peter didn’t realize was that Jesus had risen. He was not a victim to death, He was victorious over it.
That tomb must have seemed so empty to Peter, how could he know how full it really was? It contained the fulfillment of God’s promises of redemption; Christ had risen! It contained the fulfillment of every prophesy and every promise that God had made; Christ had risen! It was filled with a hope beyond even their understanding-a hope for all nations; Christ had risen! It was filled with God’s grace for every one of us who have failed miserably and been told there is not hope; Christ had risen! It was filled God’s love—He so loved the world that He sent His Son to die and defeat death once and for all; Christ had risen! It was filled with mercy—It was God we rebelled against and it was God who chose to create redemption; Christ had risen! It was filled with eternal life for all who would believe; Christ had Risen!
We may think we are staring into an empty tomb, but I say it was filled with much more that we could have ever imagined.
Christ, the Lord, is risen today; Alleluia!
Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10 a.m. for worship. Everyone is welcome!