Empty Tombs are No Big Deal?

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Truth be told, our world is full of empty tombs. In Egypt, in the Valley of the Kings, most tombs uncovered there were found empty. Where did all the mummyís go? Of course, King Tutís tomb would eventually change all that. King Tutís tomb was discovered with all of its contents and treasures beautifully intact. And sure enough, there was old King Tut too! But before that discovery an empty tomb was almost expected.

There are still conspiracy believers that Elvis Presley faked his own death and that his tomb is empty. These crazy conspirators have even taken his family members to court a few times demanding his casket be raised and examined. (Cuckoo!)

When King Herodís (the Herod of the Bible) tomb was discovered, it too was also empty. King Herod and Jesus date back to the same time period and both have empty tombs. So what?

Well, if the Kings of ancient Egypt, the King of Rock Ďní Roll, King Herod, and King Jesus all have empty tombs, then what makes Jesusí empty tomb any more special than the rest? Why does the entire world celebrate Jesusí empty tomb?

Simple: Jesus is the only one who is reported to have died and came back to life. Thatís the big deal! Can you imagine going to the graveyard and seeing someone you knew had died, come walking out of the family crypt? That is what we would call a miracle.

Well thatís exactly what was witnessed, recorded, and presentedóalong with many proofsóto us from four different writers of Jesusí day. The Gospel is not one book of the Bible; but four books, four Gospels. If you add in all we learn from the Apostle Paul too, the books just keep adding up. The proofs are too numerous to mention in a short article.

Easter Sunday will be here soon and we will all be talking about the empty tomb of Jesus. We will be singing songs about His resurrection and we will say things to each other like, ďHe is risen . . . He is risen indeed.Ē Each year we come to this time and each year it brings us great joy. But why?

Thereís many reasons for Americanís to be joyful today. The stock market has recently risen; your 401(k) has recently risen; the value of your home has recently risen. All very good news. But none of that has much impact on what we call eternity. Itís good for today, but not for long. But if I was to say, Christ has risen . . . well now, that changes everything.

The empty tombs of our world might be many. But only one is still empty because the occupant came back from the dead and showed himself to some 500 witnesses. In fact, He invites us to join in that resurrection ourselves upon His return and thatís where our joy lies. That reality is in part what our baptism represents. So if Jesusí tomb is empty because he beat death . . . then thatís something that can bring us joy for the long haul!

[Ron Otto, preaching minister of Lincoln Christian Church]


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