Summary: Three promises of Easter: Empty Cross - the forgiveness of sins, Empty Tomb - eternal life, Empty Burial Clothes - personal relationship with Jesus.

Tomb, You shall not hold Him longer,

Death is strong, but life is stronger

Stronger than the dark, the light;

Stronger than the wrong, the right;

Faith and hope triumphant say; Christ will rise on Easter Day.

While the patient earth lies waiting

Till the morning shall be breaking

Shuddering beneath the burden dread

Of her Master, cold and dead,

Hark! she hears the angels say; Christ will rise on Easter Day.

And when sunrise smites the mountains

Pouring light from heavenly fountains

Then the earth blooms out to greet

Once again the blessed feet;

And her countless voices say; Christ has risen on Easter Day.

(Author: Phillips Brooks)

I recently came across this story, it was told by “Dear Abby” in a response to someone’s question.

A young man from a wealthy family was about to graduate from high school. It was the custom in that affluent neighborhood for the parents to give the graduate an automobile. "Bill’ and his father had spent months looking at cars, and the week before graduation, they found the perfect car.

On the eve of his graduation, his father handed him a gift wrapped Bible. Bill was so angry that he threw the Bible down and stormed out of the house.

He and his father never saw each other again. It was the news of his father’s death that brought Bill home again.

As he sat one night going through his father’s possessions that he was to inherit, he come across the Bible his father had given him.

He brushed away the dust and opened it to find a cashier’s check, dated the day of his graduation - in the exact amount of the car they had chosen together.

As I thought about this story, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people in this world have done the same thing to God. Literally tossed aside a wonderful promise, because they didn’t understand it, or they didn’t believe that it was possible.

In our world, we are taught that; “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.” So many of us have been taken in by “empty promises,” that we are leery of anything or anyone that tells us we can have something for nothing.


But, you know what – God does – God never made a promise that was too good to be true.

The truth of the matter is, the world is full of empty promises. We watch TV, and the advertisements tell us that we can be happy, sexy, rich, or famous, if we only purchase a certain product. It doesn’t take long before we have been fooled enough to know that the world’s promises are full of emptiness. But, God is different. Instead of promises full of emptiness, on Easter, he gave us emptiness that is full of promise.

This morning, I would like us to think about the promises of Easter. There are three of them. Each promise is marked by something empty. An empty cross, and empty tomb and empty burial clothes. It is the very fact that each of these is empty that assures us that God’s promises are real. Because they couldn’t hold Jesus, because he couldn’t be contained by the cross, the tomb, or even his burial clothes, we can be sure of the fullness of God’s promises in our lives.

1. The Empty Cross.

Let’s begin with the empty cross. Because the cross was empty, we have the promise of forgiven sins.

Let’s go back, if we can, to that 1st Easter Morning. It is early morning – dawn – but the sun has not risen. A few of Jesus followers – women – are on their way to a tomb. It is the tomb where Jesus was buried. They have been walking now for about ½ hour. The conversation is subdued. The task before them is a sad one. They are going to anoint the body of Jesus. As they come to the top of a rise in the path, they all stop. Motionless and quiet, they stare off in the distance.

As you look with them, look off to the right, just outside the city stands a gruesome reminder of the events of just a few days ago. Do you see it? Over there, silhouetted by the glow of the pink sky, on top of the Hill the locals call, “The Skull.” 3 Crosses.

Yesterday was the Sabbath, so nobody had yet removed them. So, there they stand, an empty reminder of the horror of Friday.

The one in the middle, that is the one that I want you to see. That’s the one that Jesus hung on.

Take a close look at it. Look up at the top – those bloodstains are from the crown of thorns that was crushed into Jesus’ skull. The stains on the ends of the crossbar – they came from the nails that were driven into his hands. The main beam – it was soaked in blood – blood from his back – blood that was bled when the Roman soldiers beat him with a cat-of-nine-tails. It also has stains from the blood that poured from his side when another Roman soldier ran a spear through his side to see if he was dead – HE WAS.

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Jose Valentin

commented on Apr 3, 2007

Excellent message of encouragement and yet a challenge to the unbeliever. Very inspirational.

Akinola Olatunji

commented on Mar 16, 2008

An eye opener to the wonders of Christianity.It emphasizes what we need to hang-on to for salvation. I wish that all sinners, living empty lives, would come to Jesus this Easter.

Ernest Porter

commented on Apr 7, 2009

This message was well written and encourage my heart thank you

Robert Butkus

commented on Apr 7, 2009

3 great points about our great God. Love the illustrations.

Tonya L White Mountain

commented on Apr 2, 2010

Sometimes preparing sermons gets to be too much, especially for someone who works 2 jobs! Thank you for having such an encouraging sermon prepared that encouraged me, too!

Toby Powers

commented on Apr 3, 2010

Very interesting. Got a lot from it that I can use to try to be a blessing to God''s people.

L Jasper Rideout

commented on Apr 26, 2011

I thank God that He never gives an empty promise. God''s word is true and I Praise His wonderful name this day!

L Jasper Rideout

commented on Apr 26, 2011

I thank God that He never gives an empty promise. God''s word is true and I Praise His wonderful name this day!

Suresh Manoharan

commented on Mar 29, 2012

This Easter message would bring an unbeliever to the Lord, revive a back-slidden believer and spur a faithful, strong believer to greater works. Suresh Manoharan

James Swett

commented on Apr 3, 2012

This was a great message, had never looked at it that way before. Such great encouragement of the promises of God to the believer and for the unsaved.

Rones Barbosa

commented on Apr 8, 2012

Louvado seja Deus, por esta mensagem t?o aben?oada.

Danny Brightwell

commented on Apr 15, 2014

Bro. Steven, thank you for sharing this lesson. I love to look at "old things" from new angles. I appreciate your insight. I'm working on a lesson from this new angle of empty promises that are anything but empty. Thank you once again.

Aina Mobolaji Temitope

commented on Apr 17, 2014

This is powerful and impactful

Clando Brownlee

commented on Mar 27, 2015

Very well done I certainly enjoyed it so much so I can promise you I will probably preach this message.

Pastor Jo Ford

commented on Mar 31, 2015

Bless you and thank you so very much. I had started preparing my Easter Sunday sermon but am now thinking of using yours with a few changes to include parts of my message. I was in need of encouragement and after reading this beautiful sermon I feel refreshed and energised. As I have been blessed, may you be blessed also.

Randy Hamel

commented on Apr 1, 2015

God bless you. Encouraging meassage

Servant Mariah Of Siloam Int. Ministries

commented on Apr 2, 2015

I am very much bleased and encouraged,atleast i have a better package of material to preach during this season of Easter. Servant,May God continue with the work he has started in you!!!

Wu Daozhu

commented on Mar 14, 2016

so excellent

Wu Daozhu

commented on Mar 14, 2016

so excellent

Alpha Justo

commented on Mar 17, 2016

Great sermon!

Brandon Lanier

commented on Mar 24, 2016

I greatly enjoyed reading this message. Woke up during the night and started reading, couldn't stop and go back to bed until I finished it. Thank you for sharing what Father put in your heart!

Anonymous Contributor

commented on Mar 28, 2016

thank you for a very uplifting message. i am greatly encouraged. God bless you

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