In this enlightening message, we explore the profound significance of the empty tomb, a cornerstone event in Christian theology. Discover why the empty tomb is not just a historical question but a transformative moment that has impacted millions of lives across centuries. We’ll discuss the historical, theological, and personal implications of this event, offering insights into how it continues to influence faith, hope, and understanding in our lives today. Whether you’re deeply rooted in your faith, seeking answers, or simply curious about the historical contexts and interpretations, this video provides a thoughtful examination of why the empty tomb matters.

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Notes from Why Does the Empty Tomb Matter?

The Empty Tomb tells us Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

The Story of the ressurection through the eyes of Luke, Matthew and John

Luke 24:1-8 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”’ 8 Then they remembered his words.

Matthew 28:8-15 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’ 11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, ‘You are to say, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.” 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

John 20:3-9 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Luke 24:13-35 13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognising him. 17 He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’ They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, ‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’ 19 ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘About Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.’ 25 He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going further. 29 But they urged him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’ 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, ‘It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognised by them when he broke the bread.

John 20:19-31 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’ 24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ 28 Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29 Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Can I pray?

I have a question for you that you might not have thought about for some time.

Why does the empty tomb matter?

Before you give your automatic response, I want you to think about a couple things that you might not have thought about before.

1. Crucifixion was common

2. Resurrections happen.

Let me explain.

1. Crucifixion was common

Crucifixion – though horrific – wasn’t that uncommon in the Roman world. From at least the 6th century BC until the 4th century AD when Emperor Constantine abolished it in reverence to Jesus Christ.

Crucifixions were applied for a wide range of offenses, including but not limited to acts of piracy, slave revolts, desertion by soldiers, treason, and other crimes considered serious by the Roman state.

The most notorious mass crucifixion was following the Spartacus rebellion (73-71 BC), where around 6,000 slaves and rebels were crucified along the Appian Way from Capua to Rome as a warning to others.

Given the extensive use of crucifixion for various crimes across different regions of the Roman Empire over nearly a millennium, the total number of crucifixions could be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands.

Jesus was only one of three who where crucified the day he died.

Crucifixion-though horrific-was fairly common.

2. Ressurection happen

  • Elijah raised the son of the widow in Zarephath. (1 Kings 17)
  • Elisha raised the son of the Sunammite Women. (2 Kings 4)
  • A dead man came back to life when we touched the bones of Elisha. (2 Kings 13)
  • Peter raised Tabitha (Acts 9)
  • Paul raised Eutychus (Acts 20)
  • Jesus never came early (Matthew 9:25), just in time (Luke:13-15) or late (John 11:43-44) to a funeral where the person wasn’t raised back to life.
  • When Jesus died tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and they came out of the tombs after His resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many. Matthew 27:52-53

Resurrections are amazing miracles…but they happened before Jesus and after Jesus. They are still happening today. We don’t start a new religion every time someone comes back from the dead.

Why does the empty tomb matter?

1. The cross proved He is human. The empty grave proved He is God.

Here are 8 Places Jesus Calls Himself the Son of God

1. Matthew 11:27 All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.

2. Mark 14:61-62 But He kept silent and did not answer anything. Again the high priest questioned Him, “Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus, “and all of you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.

3. John 3:16-18 For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.

4. John 5:25 I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

5. John 9:35-37 When Jesus heard that they had thrown the man out, He found him and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?” he asked Jesus answered, “You have seen Him; in fact, He is the One speaking with you.”

6 John 10:36 do you say, ‘You are blaspheming’ to the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, because I said: I am the Son of God?

7. John 11:4 When Jesus heard it, He said, “This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

8. John 17:1 Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You,

And Jesus told people the sign He is who He claims to be is the sign of Jonah

Matthew 12:39-40 He answered, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

To my knowledge; every one else who ever rose again didn’t tell people they would rise again. Everyone I can think of who predicted they would rise again are still in the tomb.

The Jesus of History is the Christ of Faith.

He proved it to Thomas; he’s probably proved it to you in the past. The good news is he can prove it to you whenever you need it.

Will you ask him reveal himself to you? Will you put yourself in a place for greater revelation?

2. The empty tomb provides hope for us.

1 Corinthians 15:1-19 NIV84 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this

Our future hope is with us now. Eternity starts the moment we awaken to the reality of the Eternal.

Remember what Cleopas and the other disciple said when Jesus broke the bread.

Were not our hearts burning within us?

Will you awaken to the hope of the Eternal?

Hope – trust in God of all hope who fills you with peace and joy as you trust in him so that you will overflow with hope by the power of Holy Spirit.

Start with the prayer of the Father of the boy the disciples couldn’t deliver “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief “. Faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to move mountains.

3. The empty tomb shows us we have a job to do.

Video from NT Wright – New Testament Scholar, Pauline theologian and Anglican Bishop.

You can leave the old life behind…

Why look for the living from among the dead?

Repentance and Forgiveness of sins…

Romans 8:9-14 NIV You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

You have the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead in you. His resurrection power is resurrecting you.

Will you keep accounts short with God?

How do you…

  • Put yourself in a place for greater revelation?
  • Awaken to hope?
  • Keep accounts short with God?

Can I make a suggestion to you?

Regularly be in AWE of God.

How do you do that?

That’s a great question.

Rhythm of Awe

Study something that makes your brain hurt. It physically opens up you mind to learn and experience more.

A – Agree to be amazed

Decision – You need to decide to be stretched. You won’t get there without a decision.

What do you want me to see today, Lord?

W – Work what works for you

Action – Is it getting out in nature or reading something in theoretical astrophysics that puts you in a state of awe? Maybe it’s spending time with your children or grandchildren that connects with the Divine? The point is, work what works for you. Make space to be in awe because you enjoy it, not because it works for someone else.

What do you want me to do to be inspired by you, Lord?

E – Enjoy what’s simple and intentional

Emotion – The feeling of emotion is key for all rhythms to work. It’s not a cerebral exercise where I learn something new every day. It’s space for me to be in AWE of my Creator.

What’s the simplest way for me to be in awe today?

Schedule in 15 minutes a day for child-like wonder.

Will you make the time to recognize GOD is with you? Will you align your actions to His will?


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