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cropped-rose-4.gifHebrews 10:12, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God”

Revelation 1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death”

A Mohommedan once said to a missionary, “We have our Prophet’s tomb to show, but you have nothing.” My brethren, this poem written by Annie Johnson Flint, speaks of the empty tomb of Jesus Christ, and also of the transforming power of God that is manifested in the lives of those who have put their trust and faith in the living Christ. That power is seen in the empty tomb, in the resurrected Christ Himself, and in the promises that are assured because of His Resurrection.

In the gospel of Luke, chapters 23 and 24, note how many times the body of Jesus and the tomb are mentioned. On that first Easter morning, the women came to a grave to anoint a corpse with spices for proper burial. In the deep sorrow of that awful finality, they were stunned by news that seemed too amazing to be true, “He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:6).

Thus, our own sorrows and shattered dreams that seem so final have been changed forever by Jesus’ empty grave. It shouts of the victory He won over sin and death, and of the living hope we have in Him. I trust this simple but very powerful poem entitled “The Empty Tomb” will be a blessing to your heart, mind and soul. Enjoy my brethren!

Earth’s Meccas and the faiths of men
Hold but a corpse within a tomb;
Each weary pilgrim’s journey ends
At some sad shrine of grief and gloom.

Earth’s prophets rest, in silence wrapped,
Dust in the dust from whence they came;
By Death’s chill wind their torches quenched,
No more to kindle into flame.

Earth’s priests in solemn splendor sleep,
Ashes to ashes, robed and stoled;
Their chanted prayers forever hushed,
Their altar fires forever cold.

Earth’s kings in state and glory lie,
In crypts of porphyry encased;
Their names and deeds, in marble carved,
Time’s blurring touch has half erased.

No mausoleum built by man
Entombs our Prophet, Priest and King;
Our love no pilgrimage need make,
No fading votive garlands bring.

No death could kill, no guard could keep,
No seal could stay, no grave could hold
Immortal Life in mortal clay;
No darkness could the Light enfold.

Our Prophet’s word shall come to pass,
Our Priest is interceding still;
Our King shall reign forevermore,
While heaven and earth shall do his will.

“No grave to show”? This is the stone
On which the temples of our faith
Rise higher than the mosques of Ind;
Our Living Lord has conquered Death!

Personal reflection:

The end of life confronts everyone with the issue of what lies beyond. Countless individuals in today’s world are seeking many ways to gain entrance into heaven, and the Bible is very clear on how a person will get there. It isn’t having a virtuous character, giving generously to deserving charities, attending church, being involved in religious activities, or being a good person. Additionally, many believe that all religions are said to be different roads that lead to the same God and it doesn’t matter who you worship or how you worship, what’s important is you devote your life to serving some higher power.

As creditable as these qualities may be they miss by an eternity the one and only criteria God requires for entrance into His heavenly kingdom. We must remember, it isn’t man who established the criteria for entrance into heaven, but the criteria established by a Righteous and Holy God. The only place where you can find answers to God’s criteria is recorded in His Eternal Word and points us to Jesus Christ, God’s Spotless and sinless Lamb, as the only way to Heaven. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). To believe that there are other ways to gain entrance to Heaven, is following the wrong directions, and therefore will have severe and eternal consequences. Acts 16:31 puts it this way, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved …”

Closing thoughts:

God has completed everything that is necessary to provide salvation from sin. What remains is for individuals to respond in faith as the Holy Spirit works in their heart and lives. The person must appropriate the work of God, by faith, before it is of any benefit. No one else can do it for them. God’s plan is so simple and clear, that even a young child can understand the way to heaven. Jesus himself said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

Receiving Jesus Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us the kind of person He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our will. The Father above is waiting to hear from you. Would you right now, if you don’t know Him as Savior, pray this prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I don’t know you personally, but I want to know you. I believe that Your Word, the Bible is true. I repent for hardening my heart toward you, and delighting myself in things you hate. I want to be free of my sins and I confess them before you. I open the door of my life and heart and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life and make me the kind of person you want me to be.”

The empty cross and the empty tomb provide a full salvation & guarantees our victory over death.