Rejoice! The tomb is empty!
We exist in a world full of darkness and evil, evil that is deceptive and subtle, transparent yet overlooked and excused, evil we invite into our homes, the bar for Goodness so lowered we fail to recognize evil for what it is, but today…?
Today is different.
Today, Easter Sunday, is a day of Hope, a day of sunshine even among gray clouds, a day to remember THIS is NOT all there is! There is SO. Much. More!
In a fast paced world where we jump at the chance to fill ourselves with more without pausing to consider too deeply what more is, we’ve forgotten emptiness can be a Good thing.
Today is the day the tomb was found empty, and sometimes emptiness is the result of unexpected miracles worthy of jubilation.
We exist in a world of negative emptiness: empty calories, empty entertainment, empty hearts, empty seats at the dinner table, even empty worship. The word empty seems like it would be bad, but God turns even what we logically associate with bad to be Good by turning the word empty into one of the happiest words Christians can use for today.
The empty tomb is full of Hope, full of Love, full of Promise Fulfilled.
The empty tomb confirms the divine promise of the Resurrection, of life beyond this. The empty tomb tells us without a doubt the Savior lives, that His words of unfailing, unconditional Love ring true. The empty tomb tells you that you are not abandoned, that you are not alone, that you are beautifully and wonderfully made, that you are unique and special and Loved.
The women found the tomb empty. The disciples found the tomb empty, and many of us have found our hearts and homes empty when they should be filled with laughter and Love and noisy dinner conversations and the pitter patter of little feet and quiet bedtime prayers, but instead we are surrounded by emptiness.
And we wonder what it’s all for. We wonder why there was death in our Marriages and loss of our spouses, our children, our homes, and our families and friends. Like the disciples, we stumble about in the darkness, hurt and confused.
And we wonder if this emptiness is all there is,
but the Resurrection shows quite clearly this is not it!
God uses emptiness as a Good thing! Without the empty tomb, Jesus’ body would not have pulled souls out of Hell. He would not have returned to the disciples and so many others for so many weeks after His earthly death. Without emptiness, we would not have Hope.
The empty tomb was not the end,
but the beginning.
And your emptiness is not your end either,
but it can be a new beginning!
Those scars you bear, the holes in your heart are nothing compared to the scars on Christ’s back, the holes in His hands and feet. They did not end you. They did not kill you, and if God who created you has the power to resurrect your Savior, Jesus Christ, He also has the power to resurrect you. He has the ability to lift your higher than you ever imagined. He has the capacity to Love you perfectly and to bring you closer to Him.
Those scars you bear are war wounds in the ongoing battle of Good versus evil in which you play perhaps a small but never insignificant role. You can choose to hide your wounds from the world, pretending the pain, the loss, the death never happened. You can choose to reopen the wounds with cheap relationships and mirrored bitterness looking back at what should have been instead of up to what is and ahead to what will be.
Or you can choose a different path, one of Hope, of Promise, of Resurrection.
Jesus died leaving an empty tomb to go into Hell and free lost souls. He left Hell to return to earth and show He had fulfilled His promise, to lead frightened souls to incomprehensible understanding, and to bring Hope to a darkened world.
After divorce, part of you dies, but you are not dead. Instead, you are emptied of past obligations, freed of confinement of your spouse’s faithlessness, and you can be Resurrected, made new, stronger, better, a witness to those in darkness.
The tomb was empty of human form, but it was filled with Love. Human abandonment gives you the opportunity to be filled with a supernatural Love as well.
Pain Before Emptiness
Before Jesus left the empty tomb behind, He had a dark road to hoe. He sweat blood fearing what lay ahead, but He knew He needed to do this because it would make Him who He was sent to be, because it would give you the eternal life you were meant to receive.
It was not easy, but His path helps us identify closely with our Lord, aligning our struggles with His.
Without the injustice of Pilat’s court, Jesus walks a free Man. Without the Stations of the Cross, Jesus is put to death quietly sparing Him humiliation. Without death on a Cross, Jesus’ arms are not spread open wide waiting for you to join Him, not in death, but in Life as only He can give it. Without death, there is no understanding of the beauty of life
Without the Resurrection, even Christmas is just another day.
Before you can be truly made empty, your journey may also take you along a dark road. You may fear what lies ahead, but you need to keep going in Faith because it will make you who you are meant to be.
It will not be easy, but Jesus’ journey shows He has gone through much of the same: the unjust court, the loss of family and friends, the stripping of material goods, the humiliation, the abandonment, the betrayal with a kiss…
Without your divorce you are just another spouse. Without your loved one’s abandonment, you are just another person unaware of a realm which exists around you. Without having your heart broken and your love spilled out, you can not have been made empty.
And without being made empty, you cannot be ready to accept all the Lord has prepared to fill you with.
Sometimes, emptiness can be a Good thing. Sometimes emptiness can be a gift from God. Today, we celebrate the empty tomb because it shows the Power of the Almighty and the Love He has for you.
Jesus Christ died so that you could be filled with Love. If you have been left empty, do not hide your wounds in shame and fear for you have not been given a spirit of fear. Instead, look for your personal Resurrection in the only one with the power to be Alive after death, Jesus Christ!
Rejoice in your emptiness knowing that now you can be more completely filled with Christ!
To read and reflect on Easter Sunday’s Bible readings, go to USCCB.org here.
And, as always, thanks for commenting, liking, following, and sharing!
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