Passion2017: Sunday [ Empty ]

The symbols of Easter are empty. 

An empty cross:

The empty cross reminds us of Jesus “who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing [ emptied himself ] by taking the nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to to death – even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:6-8)

The empty cross reminds us that we are saved through faith and not by works (Eph. 2:8-9); not by the righteous deeds we have done but according to His mercy (Titus 3:5a) so that whoever looks to Him in faith will be saved (John 6:40).

The empty cross tells us the work is finished – once and for all. The penalty for sin is paid (Rom. 6:23); his love is demonstrated and proven true (Rom. 5:8). And now, we we who were far away have been brought near and (Eph. 2:13) and we who were once dead to sin have been “ made alive in the spirit.” (1 Pet. 3:18)

The empty grave:

The empty grave tells us who Jesus is . He is not just some historical figure or wise man with a great message. He is the long-awaited Messiah (Acts 13:30-35), the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He is not just a god among many gods, an optional deity whom you may call as you wish. He is one with the Father (John 10:30), the “Son of God” (Rom. 1:4) and therefore, he is the only way, the only truth and the only Giver of life (John 14:6). 

The empty grave gives us an eternal hope (1 Pet. 1:3). Jesus, having conquered death by death (1 Cor. 15:55-57), death has no power over him (Rom. 6:9). Because he was risen, he has the power to forgive our sins (1 Cor. 15:17). And one day, he will return to raise and his people with him (1 Thess. 4:14, Rom. 8:10-11); to dwell with them in eternity.

The cross is empty. The grave is empty. But his words are not.

In Christ, the promises of God that are never empty (Isa. 55:11).For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. (2 Cor. 1:20). 

In Christ, we are empowered not by empty religion or some lofty desire to become “better” but by Christ who lives in us (Gal. 2:20) and gives us the victory (1 Cor. 15:55-57) over sin and death. 

The emptiness of the cross, the emptiness of the grave is a stark contrast to the fullness of life Christ has promised here on earth (John 10:10) and the amazing inheritance that is kept for us in eternity (1 Peter. 1:4).

Today, let our mouths be full of praise and our hearts be full of thanksgiving

The sorrow may last for a night (or two) but joy has come!

The war is over turn around
Lay your weapons on the ground
The smoke is fading before the light
The dead are coming back to life

He has made a way for us
Born for glory out of dust
Children held within the arms of Peace
He has made a way for all
Mercy waits where sinners fall
He is our Victory

The war is over His love has come
To call us daughters and sons
No longer orphans without a home
We have found where we belong

It is finished, it is done
The blood of Jesus overcomes
It is finished, He has won
He has won

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