Empty Tomb: Reality or Illusion?
I love preaching on Easter Sunday. There is something very special about speaking the day that Jesus rose from the grave! Here is a scripture I read:
"The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 'Sir,' they said, we remember that while he (Jesus) was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” - Matthew 27:62-64
Jesus was accused of being a deceiver. They thought he would somehow pull the ultimate magic trick and somehow disapear from the grave or accuse the disciples of stealing the body of Jesus. The stone was a two ton stone that was rolled in front of the grave. They also put a seal on the stone so they would know it was not tampered with. The guards could lose their own life if they were caught sleeping on the job. Pilot and his guards tried everything to keep jesus' dead body in the tomb. No guard, no tomb, no stone or even death could hold Jesus back from raising from the dead! Yes, dead! He wasnt asleep and then somehow woke up and devised a plan to escape. He was dead and only Jesus could raise from the dead as he said he would. Praise God!
Being a magician, I perform escape illusions. My escapes are mere illusions. I cannot and could never escape for "real" pushing a two ton stone to the side. As a magician I know it would be impossible to escape from that grave. Jesus didnt perfrom some kinda magic trick ... HE TRULY RAISED FROM THE GRAVE! The seal was not tampered with, the guard was on duty and over 500 witnesses saw Jesus after he raised from the grave on 12 different occasions.
Imagine you were in a car accident and the police officer asked you and the driver of the other car to tell your stories, with NO witnesses. It is likely the officer may issue you both a ticket finding you both at fault. But image if you had one witness to help defend your story. It certainly would improve your chances of not being held at fault. Image now that you have 10 witnesses, or 100 witnesses or better yet, 500 witnesses. At this point, it would be an open shut case. The police officer would most likely believe 500 people. I love it that over 500 people witnessed seeing Jesus ALIVE after his death just 3 days prior!
We serve an amazing God who is no deceiver, he is who he says he is! His Word will always stand as TRUE! This world is full of empty promises. Only Jesus can take something empty (the grave) and GIVE so many promises! He promises new life!
Have you ever been deceived by someone? For the past 5 years, my biggest human desire is to be married again and to have a godly woman in my life who has integrity and wants to serve Jesus forever with me. I did date some sweet, godly woman through the years who were in love with Jesus but also found myself in a few relationships that left me crushed and hurt.
Jesus was accused of being a deceiver but his actions spoke louder than the words of Pilot and the people who crucified him on the cross. I know I have a God I can take at his word! This is why I am writing this book. I am seeking a GODmance rather than an earthy romance at this point in my life. I'm asking God in HIS TIMING to grant me with the desires of my heart. In the meantime, I am learning from the master of love how to love unconditionally and to be the man of God he wants me to be. I have lots to learn yet. If someone has hurt you with lies, may today be the day you forgive them. We all are guilty of hurting others in one way or another.
May you fall deeper in love with Jesus this Easter knowing he would NEVER lie to and will always be faithful to you. You can trust him with your life! He has YOUR best interest in mind. He loves you! Thank him for his amazing selfless love on this Ressurrection Easter Sunday! He is risen!