Summary: “He’s alive, the tomb is empty. Jesus is alive. He has risen from the grave”
Easter an empty tomb not empty promises
It’s Easter Sunday evening on the 16th April 2017, but I want you to imagine it’s very early on the first Easter Sunday Morning, nearly 2000 years ago.
Imagine you are one of the disciples of Jesus and you wake up in a cold sweat remembering the horror of what had happened on Friday.
Your friend, your teacher, the one you gave up everything to follow is dead.
Crucified like a common criminal.
If only you could have done something.
If only the crowd had let Him go instead of that murderer Barabas.
Your shouts of “let Jesus go, He has done nothing wrong!”
Had been drowned out by the screams of the crowd yelling “Crucify Him, crucify Him! We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children! His blood be on us and on our children!”
You watched as He was beaten, you watched as a crown of thorns was pushed into His brow.
You watched as He was forced to carry the heavy wood of His cross to Golgotha, the place of the skull.
You watched as the soldiers nailed His hands and feet to the cross and raised it up into its stand.
You cried as you watched His last hours of pain and suffering till He shouted “It is finished” and breathed His last breath.
As He died, it felt like something inside you had died as well.
Your dreams shattered, your hope turned into fear, your purpose now purposless, everything gone.
For three years you had been His disciple.
How the days had flown by, it seems like only yesterday when He had asked you to follow Him and become a fisher of men.
You had listened to His every word as He spoke to you and as He spoke to crowds of people throughout the region.
Though if you are honest, there were times when you really didn’t understand what He was saying and you were always pleased He took the time to explain His words to you and the other disciples.
All He had wanted was everything, and you gave it.
All he had asked was that you believe and oh how you had believed.
You had seen the impossible,
you had seen blind men see,
you had seen lame men walk,
and you had even seen Lazarus, a dead man, live again.
You had believed with all your heart, but not any more, your belief was as dead as your master.
As you lay on your bed, you begin to cry again, seems like that is all you have done since Thursday night.
You think about your past, your present, even your future.
There is nothing left now, all you can do is go home,
to leave Jerusalem, to leave your hopes,
to leave your dreams and just go home.
You might as well try and recover your yesterdays,
try and go back to the life you had before.
Your dreams are as dead as Jesus in His borrowed tomb.
Captured, beaten, crucified, dead and buried.
But then you hear a shout from outside,
“He’s alive, the tomb is empty. Jesus is alive.
He has risen from the grave”
What? Can it be?
Suddenly your heart is filled with fresh hope.
You jump from your bed and rush out to discover the two Mary’s had seen an empty tomb.
Mary had seen empty grave clothes and then Mary had seen Jesus.
Jesus wasn’t dead, Jesus was alive.