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     This Week's Focus: "Empty Tombs"
       Click the link for John 20:1-18

 























 

Dear Friends,

Alleluia! He is risen! But wait a minute. Where are the angels hailing his Resurrection? Where is the dazzling white light dramatizing the miracle? Matthew, Mark and Luke, all give us lights and angels. Only John gives us an empty tomb.

Could it be that we have journeyed all the way through Lent and mourned the Passion only to find this emptiness? Look again. This is a void that speaks volumes. It is an emptiness that promises an eternity of fulfillment… a silence that trumpets: He is risen.

And true to his word, Christ’s empty tomb tells us that our tombs, our graves, our urns will also be empty one day. If we follow Jesus, he will surely lead us to Resurrection. But on that first Easter morning, his loved ones can’t see that. They are blinded by grief and fear.

As many times as he had told his disciples what to expect, they are frightened and confused by this empty tomb. And as many times as he has told Christians down the ages, we too stand frightened and confused when our fragile faith is pitted against the certainty of death. Our senses, our reason, our experience, all tell us that what is dead is dead. The cross and the lance had done their wicked work on Jesus. He was surely as dead as dead can be. So, where’s the body?

Mary Magdalene didn’t have long to wait for an answer. Through the emptiness, Jesus calls her by name. And then… there he is. Not the broken corpse of the cross, but the risen Messiah… her friend, her teacher, her Savior. Overcome by joy, she runs to the disciples to announce: I have seen the Lord. And as we will see in the gospels of this Easter season, the disciples will not only see the Lord; they will walk with him, talk with him, eat with him… even touch him.

The great good news of the Resurrection is that this is not a one-shot miracle… an Easter morning event… strictly reserved for the Deity. No. This is a miracle we can all share. This is Christ’s whole purpose. He is the living embodiment of God’s love… the instrument of our salvation. This morning God is telling us that he wants our tombs to be empty and our hearts to be filled.

Jesus promised: I am the Resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever believes in me shall never die. (John 11:25-26). Jesus says never die …not maybe … no if’s, no and’s, no but’s. He isn’t playing word games. He’s offering us all an empty tomb and an eternal life. All it takes is a leap of faith to exchange a life of emptiness for the fullness of the risen Christ. He wants us to trade our fear for faith, our sins for forgiveness, our death for everlasting life.

And so, as you go through this glorious Easter season and beyond, remember that life here is short. We don’t have the time to waste on fear and confusion. We don’t need to wait for the angels and the bright lights to give us the good news. This morning, like Mary, we should run joyfully to friends and family to proclaim the risen Christ. His glory reigns. His mercy endures.

Stop wasting your time on self-absorption. Be quick to love. Make haste to be kind. Rush to forgive… and forgive… and forgive.

So, let’s rejoice in that empty tomb. Let’s share a blessed Easter filled with the love of our Risen Savior. Jesus is God’s solemn promise that our tombs will be empty too.
Alleluia! He is risen!


God love you!


 

A Reflection for 
Easter Sunday
©The Reverend Canon David F. Sellery

 
Copyright © 2019 David Sellery, All rights reserved.


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