Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling
The primary definition of the word empty according to Merriam-Webster is “containing nothing, uninhabited.” But its secondary meaning, as relates to an object, is poignant: “lacking reality, substance, meaning, or value; destitute of effect or force.” Think about this definition in contrast to the tomb of Christ. It was indeed found to be uninhabited, but it was hardly lacking reality, substance, meaning, or value—or destitute of effect or force. Quite to the contrary, the empty tomb witnessed a greater reality of death and life, that defines ultimate meaning and value with unstoppable effect and force. The Apostle Paul—who encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus—knew well the impact of the empty tomb:
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. Romans 6:5-9 ESV
The empty tomb verifies victory—over the dominion of death and over the power of sin that leads to death. It also verifies the power of Christ’s resurrection which brings new and eternal life here and now for those of us who bow our knee to the One who emptied himself to serve us (Philippians 2:5-11). So when we celebrate Easter this Sunday, let’s give thanks to the Father for his Risen Son who became empty that we might be filled!