Each person who investigated the tomb on that Easter day found the unexpected.
Think about the soldiers who drew the short end of some lottery for all night duty. They were guarding a tomb to keep people from getting inside. They never expected they needed to guard the tomb to keep someone from getting out!
Think about the women on their early morning trek. They would carefully prepare the body of Jesus to reduce the effects of death on it. They were not looking forward to seeing what death had already done to the one they loved. They never expected to be a welcome party for His release!
Think about Peter and John who ran to the tomb, anger and disbelief boiling as they tried to make some sense of the women’s report. “What do you mean he’s not there?” They would take no one’s word for this atrocity. They never expected to add their agreement to the women’s unbelievable report.
And what of us this Easter? What do we expect as we go to celebrate the story we know so well? We try to think about standing before the tomb and not expecting it empty. But we know what happened. We can’t un-think it.
But what do we really expect because of it?
That is the true question of Easter we must answer.
We cannot call it celebration if all we do is review what we know. We must also make our run to the tomb with what we expect and what we don’t know.
God wants us to see the full force of His power to change the end of a story . . . our story. What could have happened, didn’t, because God showed up!
Every day beyond Easter is a day of empty tomb discovery, a day we can find out how God wants to change the end of our story . . . now. Every day we wake up, the empty tomb reminds us of the power at work behind the scenes. It is power that reversed rigor mortis, un-congealed blood flow, started a heart without CPR, and brought Jesus to new life. Don’t make the mistake of reserving that power for end-of-life transformation. God wants you to know that power now. He would bring you out of some tomb of closed mind thinking, some place of fear, some unforgiveness, anything He knows will not serve the end of your story well.
Today is a day to leave death clothes in an empty tomb. Today is a day to re-discover how resurrection changes my story and yours. Today, look inside the empty tomb and leave your emptiness there, too. Dare to believe that Jesus gives you whatever you need to live to the end of your story, His way.
Take another look at the empty tomb. What does God want you know there?
When you find it, you will find the beginning of the end of your story, too.
Scripture to guide your way to Easter truth . . .
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. . . .“He is not her, but has risen!”
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. . . . So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-5a, 7
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 1:19-20