The empty tomb
‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!…’
Luke 24:5-6 (NIVUK)
Until recently, I worked for a Chinese-owned company, so it was not unusual for UK staff to get emails from our Chinese colleagues. But one day I received an email from China that was a little different. The subject line said, ‘China offices will be closed for Tomb Sweeping Day’.
I later found out that Tomb Sweeping Day is a traditional Chinese festival that takes place on the 4th or 5th of April in our calendar. It is a national holiday, a day when Chinese families visit the graves of their ancestors, spruce them up a bit and leave flowers or offerings of food, tea, and wine.
That email got me thinking…what is the one tomb that nobody visits and no relative comes to tidy up? That’s right – the tomb of Jesus Christ. Why is that? Because there is nobody there. There is literally no body in the tomb of Jesus Christ. It is an empty tomb.
Several times in the gospels, Jesus told his disciples that he would die, but then he would be resurrected. And the empty tomb is proof that a momentous event happened, just as he said it would. The empty tomb is evidence that Jesus is who he said he is: the Son of God. The empty tomb means that because he lives forever, we also will live forever.
Last but not least, it means that because of what Jesus did for us, because of his empty tomb, one day all tombs will be empty. There will no longer be a Tomb Sweeping Day in China or anywhere else for that matter, because Jesus’ empty tomb is actually full.
It is full of hope for all humanity.
Almighty Father, thank you for the empty tomb that is chock-full of meaning and brimming with hope for all people who have ever lived, as well as those who are yet to be born. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Study by Peter Mill
About the writer:
Peter Mill is a Minister and the Missions Developer of the National Ministry Team of Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. He is also a Pastoral Worker in Scotland and Ireland.
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