I love the view near the main entrance to the sanctuary of our church. Two symbols stand out: the cross and the empty tomb. A quick reminder of the two central truths of our faith to everyone who enters!
As we celebrate Easter, and especially on this Good Friday, the emphais is on the cross. As Christians, we understand the importance of the cross; without it, we would still be lost in our sins. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, the penalty for our sin was paid in full, and a way was made for us to receive forgiveness and a relationship with our Creator God.
But how many of us really understand the significance of the empty tomb? Sure, we know it proves that Jesus is no longer dead, We serve a resurrected Lord! But why is that important?
The empty tomb:
- Proves that Jesus’ death on the cross was enough, that the penalty of our sins has been paid in full. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17 ESV)
- Rendered Satan powerless. “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,” (Hebrews 2:14 NASB)
- Sets those who believe in Jesus Christ free from the fear of death. “and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” (Hebrews 2:15 NASB)
- Gives us hope for the final victory over sin, death and Satan. “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26 (NASB); “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 NASB)
The cross and the empty tomb are the foundation of the Christian life. As the recently released Christian movie The Case for Christ so clearly communicates, our belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is of primary importance. The cross and the empty tomb together show that Jesus’ suffering was was not in vain. Or in the words of Bible teacher Kay Arthur: