When an empty tomb gives new life
“And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’ ” John 20:13 NASB
I may not know you personally, but one thing I know is that your life has not turned out the way you had planned. You would have preferred a life free from heartache, pain, disappointment and discouragement — a life without divorce, cancer, abuse and loss, to be more specific. Life is filled with ups and downs, mountains and valleys, sunshine and rain. We prefer one without the other, but life doesn’t work that way because we live in a fallen world — a world that is hopeless and broken by sin.
We live in a world where everything is shaky and unsure — we need a hope that is steadfast and sure. We live in a world where everything around us gives way — we need a hope that remains immovable. We need a hope that endures forever. We need Jesus.
Consider a woman named Mary Magdalene. Her life didn’t turn out the way she had planned either. Evil spirits possessed her, but Jesus delivered her from her demonic bondage. In a moment, she was transformed from a demon-possessed woman to a devoted follower of Jesus (Luke 8).
That’s the difference Jesus makes in a person’s life. The Jesus, who wrought the miracle of transforming water to wine and loaves and fishes to feed the multitude, is the same Jesus who transformed a dead man to new life (Lazarus). Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good — he came to make dead people alive. He makes a difference in a person’s life. He can make a difference in your life!
Mary Magdalene would have vividly remembered the day that Jesus set her free. She watched him perform miracles of healing and teach people about God’s love. Her life was completely transformed and filled with hope and joy. But, the story doesn’t end there.
She watched as Jesus was arrested, falsely accused and brutally murdered. The same crowds that had shouted “Hosanna!” as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, cried “Crucify Him!” several days later.
The Bible says that Mary went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, but once there she discovered that it was empty. Had someone stolen the body of her Lord? As she wept in despair, the Bible says that an angel asked her, “Why are you weeping?” Of course, she was standing before an empty tomb! But, Jesus’ body was not stolen. He had risen on that Easter morning, just as he had promised!
Life is not always easy. There are joyful moments and then times when nothing makes sense and everything seems to crumble around us. We need hope. Hope is found when we peer into the empty tomb because Jesus came to give us new life. He came to give us his life.
The empty tomb promises that nothing, not even death itself, can defeat the purposes of God. Life is difficult, but if you have Jesus you have everything you need. I pray that you will find new life in him (John 3:16).