Monday, February 2, 2009

The Empty Tomb

"They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed—-for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead." John 20:4-9 NLT

Jesus had been crucified. He told his followers that was the reason He entered the world. To lay down His life as a sacrifice on behalf of fallen mankind. His death and resurrection would mean that the hostility and gap between God and mankind would be reconciled.

The two followers were scared. The religious leaders had killed Jesus. What would stop them from being killed? Jesus promised eternal life, but now He was dead.

Early on the Sunday morning after Jesus had been executed and put in a tomb, word got back to these men that the tomb was empty. How could this be? There was a squad of Roman guards watching over the tomb to keep it from being tampered with. But Jesus promised that He would not only die, but rise again. His resurrection was not only for Him, but His followers. So they ran to the tomb. It was empty.

One of the follower's stopped short and looked in the tomb. Peter went right inside and saw the grave clothes, but no Jesus. It wasn't until the other follower came inside of the tomb and saw for himself that he believed.

There are some today that simply write Jesus off. Some, like the follower that stopped short of going in the tomb, see Jesus from a distance, but with no real convictions. It's when we take the step into the tomb, that we start to get it. I mean, when we stop pursuing Jesus from the sidelines of life and pursue the truth about Him, that we finally get it.

What is "It?" A relationship with God that gives us strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

So what will you do with the empty tomb?

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