Wednesday, February 3, 2016

E     Empty Tomb    Mark 16:2-8  

“And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.  And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’  And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away although it was extremely large.  And entering the tomb, they say a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.  And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified.  He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.’”     

Though the word is not specifically used in the passage, it is very clearly implied.  The gospel is about the "empty" tomb, without which there would be no Good News.  Why? Because we would have no indication that our sins were truly paid for and forgiven.   Most of the time to hear that something is empty is not good.  But in the case of the tomb of Jesus it makes all the difference in the world, because Jesus had told His followers that He would rise from the dead.   It’s one thing to make great claims.  It’s quite another to actually say and then confirm them.

Many have tried to deny the resurrection of Jesus.  The Jewish leaders bribed the guards to say that His disciples had come and stolen His body.   However, there were too many witnesses of the resurrected Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  Some hold that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, that somehow His death was faked.  They apparently don’t know the cruelty of death by crucifixion, the beating and whipping He endured before the cross, and overlook the account of the Roman soldier lancing His side to confirm His death.   And the evidence of Jesus resurrection is found in the accounts of Jewish and Roman historians of His day.  And finally ask yourself, why would most of His Apostles suffer a cruel death rather than deny the resurrected Jesus?  People do not die to perpetuate a hoax.

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