Empty Cross, Empty Grave
There is no person that has ever walked the Earth like Jesus.
He claimed to be God, He was God, and He is God.
Now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, He stands victorious over death and the grave. He fulfilled over 360 Jewish prophecies. From where He was born [Bethlehem – Micah 5:2], to how He was born [Of a virgin – Isaiah 7:14], His tribe [Judah – Genesis 49:10], His death [Isaiah 53:5, Zechariah 12:10], His burial and resurrection [Psalm 16:10-11, 45:15] and His current place in Heaven [Psalm 68:18].
These are just the beginning.
But what does this mean for me and you?
I had a friend from the past contact me the other day. He happens to be gay and had questions about why his attraction to men is a sin. I gave him my response, that sin is not just something we do, it is the nature of our being. Our heart, our mind, and our actions are determined by a condition we have that places a love of self above God. This manifests itself differently in each individual. But sometimes we focus on our sins more than the power of Jesus. If Jesus had the power to conquer death, He has to power to change us.
What the empty cross and grave remind us of is both the love and power of Jesus.
I finished the email to my friend with a reminder of the story of the prodigal son. The father was waiting and willing, always looking for his son to come around the corner and head down that familiar path home. But it took the son to come to the end of himself, to realize it was better to be a servant in his fathers home than alone in the world. When he finally came home his father embraced him and restored his position as a son.
God’s grace is there for all who choose to take it.
He calls to us, and yes He rescues us. But in the mix of salvation is our responsibility to repent. To turn around and come home. Just like the prodigal we all have to respond to God’s call, turn around and come home.
This Easter I am reminded of the power of God and the blood of Jesus. That God in the form of man came to this place to save those He called and to redeem them. That His love and power was demonstrated with a cross and empty grave, and that it stands today as a reminder that He is alive and coming again.
He came, suffered, and died for you. Gave His life and raised it so that death is no longer our master, He is.
Easter happens to be on my birthday this year. Honestly, I could care less about my birthday. Getting older tends to reverse the trend of looking forward to birthdays! This year my birthday gift is Easter. A reminder of God and His power, and a thankful heart that I am a new creation, reborn in Christ. Life is great, a gift, but easily surpassed by experiencing Christ today and having my future secure in Him.
This is my birthday wish, that you would come home. Romans 10:9-10 says:
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
If you live in Dallas area here are a list of churches [to name a few] where you can come home. They are places where you will hear clearly the message of Jesus and see His love demonstrated.
The Village Church – thevillagechurch.net
Watermark Community Church – watermark.org
Prestonwood Baptist Church – prestonwood.org
Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship – ocbfchurch.org
Fellowship Bible Church Dallas – fellowshipdallas.org
LakePointe Church – lakepointe.org
First Baptist Church Dallas – firstdallas.org
Northwest Bible Church – northwestbible.org
Chase Oaks Bible Church – chaseoaks.org
Park Cities Presbyterian Church – pcpc.org
Gateway Church – gatewaypeople.com
Jesus died, He is risen and He is coming again! I hope this Easter is especially memorable for you as a ‘birthday’, being reborn into the family of God.
– Article contributed by Matt Cote. Director of Marketing and Operations for the Master’s Men ministry.