empty things

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We once had an egg hunt where the goal was to find the empty egg. Oh, the coins and candy in the other eggs were certainly exciting, but the goal to find the empty egg was to remind all of us about the empty tomb on the first day of the week, when the angels asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5).

It gets me to thinking about the other things Jesus empties as He comes into this world to prove the love of God for us.

He begins by emptying Himself: “… Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself…” (Philippians 2:6-7). He sets it all aside as He sets out to accomplish the will of God to save the world He so loves.

And the Word became flesh, dwelling among us full of grace and truth (John 1:14). After the birth of Jesus, He leaves behind an empty manger. Though the world is comfortable with “baby Jesus”, Jesus grows up – full of grace and truth. By grace He casts out demons, heals the sick, raises the dead, cleanses lepers, forgives sins, and in truth confronts the hypocrisy of the religious. Such truth is not tolerated – then or now – and is opposed often to the point of death, “…even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

On the cross, God proves His love for us. Jesus, the Lamb who comes to take away the sin of the world, suffers and dies for us. This One who is willingly broken to make a broken world whole; this One who is without sin becomes sin on our behalf so we can become right with God (2 Corinthians 5:21). The cross is also left empty by Jesus: emptied of its curse and condemnation by the One who is cursed and condemned for us, His wounds making us whole (Isaiah 53:5).

And then there is the tomb. Death could not hold Him and in Him, death no longer holds us. That third day morning, as those who arrived to prepare a life-less body are instead greeted by giddy angels who gladly tell them “He is risen just as He said”. Death emptied of its grip. We are indeed no longer empty, but deeply and lavishly filled with His love which calls us to be His children; our faith in this One, Jesus the Christ!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Pastor Jon Anderson