Summary: Let's examine the promises of Easter. Each promise is marked by something empty—an empty cross, empty clothes, and an empty cave. It is the very fact that each of these is empty that assures us God's promises are not.
EASTER: EMPTY PROMISES
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 3/27/2016
I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for choosing to spend Easter morning with us here at the Grove. Whether you’ve been coming to the Grove all your life, or this is your first time visiting, or you just haven’t been back since last Easter—we’re glad you’re here because Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and it’s the capstone in the arch of Christianity.
I heard about a little boy sitting next to his friend at church one Easter Sunday. His friend asked, "How did you get that bruise on your arm?" The boy replied, "I ate some Easter candy." His friend said, "Eating Easter candy won’t give you a bruise." The boy quipped, "It will if it’s your big brother’s candy!"
I heard another one about two brothers who were getting ready to boil some eggs to color for Easter. "I’ll give you ten dollars if you let me break three of these on your head," said the older one. "Promise?" asked the younger. "Promise!" Gleefully, the older boy broke the first egg over his brother’s head, then another one. The younger brother braced himself for the last egg, but nothing happened. "Ain’t ya gonna break the third egg?" the boy asked. His brother replied, "Nah, if I did that I’d owe ya ten dollars!"
Life is full of empty promises like that. Often, if something sounds too good to be true… it probably is. Marketing experts create commercials and advertisements that tell us that we can be happy, sexy, rich, or famous, if we only purchase a certain product. The government promises that if only we’d support this bill or elect this representative, then everybody would be healthy and wealthy. It doesn’t take long before we have been fooled enough to know that the world’s promises are full of emptiness.
Some people may wonder if the same is true of God. Our God is a God of promises. In fact, the Bible records over seven thousand promises from God to his people. We live in a world of broken promises and unfulfilled expectations. We make commitments and don’t follow through. We make plans and promises that we never even intended to keep. Not God. God is different. On the first Easter Sunday, instead of promises full of emptiness, God gave us emptiness that is full of promise.
This morning, I’d like us to think about the promises of Easter. There are at least three of them. Each promise is marked by something empty—an empty cross, empty clothes, and an empty cave. It is the very fact that each of these is empty that assures us that God’s promises are not. First, let’s examine the empty cross.
• THE EMPTY CROSS
If you were to return to the scene of Christ’s execution that Sunday morning, you’d find relics of his death. A braided crown with scarlet tips. Three iron nails covered in dirty and blood. And an empty cross tinged red with the blood of God.