The Empty Tomb

“Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus.” – Matthew 28:5
It must have been a glad errand to the angels who were sent to minister at the grave of the Redeemer, to roll the stone away, to keep watch at the empty sepulcher, and to tell the good tidings to the disciples who came with such heavy hearts. Their message was one of great joy. Jesus, whom his friends sought dead, was alive again for evermore. He had been in the grave, but he was not there now.

The empty tomb has many glorious voices. It tells us first that Jesus actually died. He was buried here, just in this place. His head lay there, his feet here. Here are the grave-clothes, the pieces of fine linen which gentle hands wound around him. Here is the napkin that covered his face. He lay just here. Look at the place and mark it well, and never forget that he actually was dead. This is important, for upon his death your acceptance with God depends.

But look again. The grave is empty now. He was here, but he is not here now, for he is risen. The grave is empty. Here are the grave-clothes, but there is no body. He is gone. The empty tomb tells, then, of resurrection. Death could not hold the Christ. He burst its bands and conquered the grave’s power. This is important, for a dead Christ could not have saved us. Had he never risen, how could he have stood for us before God? How could he be our help in weakness, our support in trial, our Comforter, our Friend, if his dust lay yet in the grave? Therefore he is alive to intercede for us, to help us, to save us.

Still another truth which the empty tomb teaches us is that all who sleep in Jesus shall rise too. One precious word of Scripture says: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” So let us learn to see through the grave to the life beyond.


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