Empty

Good Morning Brothers…

He was perfect.

The Jesus that went to the cross was unblemished, unstained, perfect in His ways. He was prophetically, symbolically, literally, and perfectly the Lamb of God. His sacrifice was the exclamation point to the old covenant. He fulfilled it, He completed it, He cleansed it…the blood of Jesus is the blood of the Lamb that still causes the Angel of Death to passover. To passover all who believe and follow Him as Savior, Lord, and King. To Him we owe all, through Him we see all, and by Him we reach all. On this morning we still reflect back to our Resurrection Sunday services. We still bow in reverence and awe that the tomb was empty.

On this morning, the tombs of Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, Karl Marx and every other religious founder or philosopher, contains the decaying rotting remains of a dead and broken body. The words they leave behind through book, deed, or song have withered and frayed because life is not in them. All religions and movements of new ages and thoughts, have a champion. This planet is littered with shrines and tomb’s of these champions where incense is burned and prayers are offered, however, Christianity offers no such tomb. If a litmus test of transcendence is applied to all of these champions…only One has transcended…only One chained death and rose resurrected, immortal, glorified and has ascended to the right hand of God. Only one…Jesus Christ.

The significance of the empty tomb is the fact that it is empty. In this fact, we recognize the difference between the dead words of the others and the living words of Christ. Jesus accomplished every thing He said He would. He not only fulfilled some prophecy, He was the fulfillment of all the prophecy which spoke of a Messiah. He not only arrived at His trial unblemished, He arrived having prepared His disciples to carry on after Him. He not only hung on the cross as the Lamb of God, He died their as the Son of God. God raised Him from the dead not only as a sign that the sacrifice was accepted, but as an example by which we are to follow in His footsteps.

Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

Jesus offered Himself as a living and holy sacrifice to God, it was accepted by God because the tomb is indeed empty. Jesus was called specifically to this task. In this way, Jesus demonstrated His spiritual service of worship to His Father in Heaven. We are also called to offer our bodies…as a living and holy sacrifice…acceptable to God…as our spiritual service of worship to Him. To follow Christ we must emulate Christ. We must die to self and put on the full armor of God…cloaked in Christ Himself…and we must not “be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”      Romans 12:2

We can have confidence that we may prove God’s will, all that is good, acceptable, and perfect because the tomb is indeed empty. The emptiness proves the positive, that He has indeed risen, and ushers in wisdom from above, “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”    1 Peter 1:18-21

It is because of the emptiness, that we may have faith in God. It is because of the raised glorified body of Christ that we may have hope. Listen to the living words of Paul in Philippians 3:20-21, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

After God raised Jesus from the tomb and after He was glorified by His Father, Jesus has been exerting the power He has…to continually transform us into an image of Himself. He graces us with knowledge and wisdom to understand where our citizenship truly resides. Through His mercy we understand that conformity with the body of His glory is a process. Through His riches we resist conformity to the world and embrace transformation of our minds to all that is good, acceptable, and perfect. This is the will of God…that we would become as He is…a son of God.

Romans 8:14-17 says, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

Brothers…we are sons and heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. All because of the emptiness on that Sabbath morn so long ago. The empty tomb is what separates all other religions from Christianity. It is our “anchor point” for our faith when persecution and suffering find us. The Spirit indeed testifies with our spirit, because the tomb is empty. We indeed share in Christ’s suffering and in Christ’s glory, because the tomb is empty. We indeed embrace transformation of mind and adherence to all that is good, acceptable, and perfect because the tomb is empty.

He was perfect…and the tomb is empty.

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