Devotion: Monday, April 22, 2019
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is from Luke 24:5-7, where angels speak these words to the women at Jesus’ empty tomb:
Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee, “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”
DON’T LOOK IN THE WRONG PLACE FOR WHAT REALLY MATTERS!
There are days when we are reminded that certain things matter, but that other things matter the most! This is one of those days! When it comes to finding a good place to look to “get your act together” or “get your life together,” it may be profitable to look at a healthy eating guide; it may be profitable to look to the latest personal planner; it may be profitable to read some self-motivating books or novels. But none of those places can truly deal with the issues that ail us. On Easter Sunday, God calls all of humanity to look into the empty tomb of Jesus to see their need and also to see His answer for their need. Human beings are sinful, broken, and incapable of their own rescue. God the Father sent His Son Jesus to live our life, to die our death, and, by His resurrection, to give us eternal life as a gift. So, look into His empty tomb today. It matters for you!
First, it’s important to realize why it’s important to look into this particular tomb, the empty tomb of Jesus the Christ. IN HIS BOOK, THEREFORE STAND, Wilbur M. Smith notes that “of the four great religions of the world resting directly upon personalities rather than upon some philosophical system, the Christian FAITH is the only one that even talks about an empty tomb in relation to its founder. JESUS.” He adds,
Buddha is dead, Mohammed is dead, Confucius is dead, BUT CHRIST IS ALIVE! But there is even more…. of all the great leaders of the world…. THE PHAROAHS, THE GENERALS, THE WARRIORS, THE EMPERORS, THE KINGS, EVEN THE PRESIDENTS…. You can visit THEM AT THEIR IMPRESSIVE TOMBS! BUT THEY’RE STILL DEAD.
But the One born of a virgin, who suffered under Pontius Pilate, the One crucified, dead and buried, THIS JESUS, THIS ONE ALONE IS ARISEN AND LIVES AND REIGNS TO ALL ETERNITY.
And, most importantly, the empty tomb of this person Jesus demonstrates the success of His mission as this world’s Messiah, this world’s Savior. The CROSS PROCLAIMS OUR NEED FOR A SAVIOR, AND THE EMPTY TOMB PROCLAIMS THAT there is only one SAVIOR FOR THE WORLD, one Lord, crucified and arisen, WHO, AS THE BIBLE SAYS, “has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).
Several years ago, I was privileged to lead a group of people to the traditional site of the empty tomb of Jesus. It was an awesome experience. When we stood together at HIS EMPTY TOMB, we were invited to believe and proclaim THAT HE DID ALL OF THIS FOR THE WHOLE WORLD, and He did this FOR EACH OF US as well! Today, by faith, I pray that you can say that too.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, your cross and resurrection are public displays of the uniqueness of Your mission and ministry. Help me to realize the awesome truth that you did all of that for each one of us because You love us. AMEN.