Sunday, April 12, 2009

Empty Week ~ Final Sunday

If the story of the Passion Week ended with Jesus’ burial, the His followers would’ve been without hope, and so would we.

One night my family sat on a corrugated tin roof in an Asian town that was still pressure cooker hot in the evening darkness. Our perch was overlooking a street filled with tightly packed people. A parade passed before us, with lanterns lighting up elaborate scenes from the life of Christ, in honor of the “Holy Week.” People pressed against each other to reach for a chance to touch the passing figures, to wipe a cloth on the gilded characters or to pull a petal from a flower. The chaotic swarm around the representations of Christ’s life didn’t seem to go together, but these were people who surged forward in desperate attempts to get a little help or hope in place of their poverty, their hopelessness, and their insecurity. They were an empty people.


As the procession moved through Christ’s life, the scenes began to depict the final days, the days of the Passion Week we’ve considered this week. Finally, the most elaborate and worshipped scene came by, moving slowly as the horde pressed in around it. Illuminated inside a clear glass and golden casket was a figure made to look like a dead Jesus. People wailed and worshipped, but in the darkness, their emptiness was just as void as ever. We looked at each other in disbelief. Didn’t they know there was more? Why tell the story if you end with a dead Jesus? The death is incomplete without the resurrection and the empty tomb. The story doesn’t end with the dead Jesus! I wanted to smash open the glass frame and shout, “He didn’t stay dead! He’s alive!”

The emptiness of the Easter morning tomb meant that Jesus had, indeed, conquered death and its power over all of mankind. It meant that He is who He says He is, and He can be trusted. It means that God had provided a way to fill our emptiness and restore our relationship with Him. It means that we have a lot to look forward to!
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as gold and silver that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect,” I Peter 1:18, 19.

We do not have to lead an empty life! We can live a full life now with hope for a full eternity ahead. From the filling of the empty earth, to the vacant spoiled garden, to the emptiness of men’s lives, to the emptiness of Christ, and finally to the emptiness of the tomb, … there is now fullness of joy.

He is RISEN, indeed. I pray you have allowed Jesus to fill your emptiness and give you hope!

Read the account in Matt. 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-43, or John 20:1-25.

How does a living Jesus give you hope?

2 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Lindylou said...

Julie,

First I have to tell you I so love you website! It is so beautiful. Did you purchase the template/design?

Now to post, Empty! Our pastor preached a sermon on Empty ... he had three points and I would have not seen all of them on my own...

1) Empty Cross = Full Forgiveness

2) Empty Tomb = Full Resurrection Power in life

3) Empty Clothes = Full Relationship with a person, Jesus Christ

I thought this was so good!

Lindy
hppt://lindylou-abbott.blogspot.com

Julie said...

Thank you, Lindy! Darcy helped me out. I will put her link up tomorrow. I just wanted to wait til the Resurrection Week was over to welcome all to my new "front porch." :)

What a great message from your pastor. It makes me want to hear the rest. I really think that the "empty" makes all the difference! I'm so glad you shared.
- Julie