“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:5-6
Empty. The word carries a bit of negativity. My paperback dictionary associates the following words with empty: containing nothing, lacking substance or value, hollow, not pregnant, having no purpose or result.
The hearts of Jesus’ followers felt empty after his crucixion and burial. They’d followed the one whom they believed to be the Son of God, witnessed His miracles, observed his character, and marveled at His words about the kingdom to come. Had He fooled them about being the Messiah? Had their time with Him been without purpose? They woke this morning, years ago, with hollow hearts.
By nature women are caretakers. The women who followed Jesus brought spices to the tomb on the Sabbath to anoint His body. What an act of love. Since Jews didn’t embalm the dead, these women arrived with spices to offset the stench of the decaying body. They found the stone outside the tomb had been rolled away. And inside the tomb, they found nothing. No body. Shock and horror swallowed them. To the side sat an angel. He spoke. “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here.”
An empty grave defies Webster’s definition. More purpose and result flowed from the tomb that day more than any day in history. The “containing nothing” contained the promise of the Risen Savior. The empty tomb – pregnant with the truth that death couldn’t hold Him and the grave couldn’t keep Him. He was risen as He said! Birthed that day – hope for all who wish to be delivered from sin, shame, guilt, unforgiveness. Those without purpose can be resurrected too. Those who follow the Risen One can flee the empty tomb as amazed as the women of long ago.
Each day new hope awaits His followers. Hollowness can be filled with abundant life. We’re all in need of resurrection. Like the women, we just need to seek Him.