“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said, Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Why visit the tomb of Jesus? Why go see the place where the Lord lay? He is our friend, which is why we go. We visit grave sties because we love those that are now gone. Does affection, love for Christ, draw us to the tomb?
Why visit the tomb of Jesus? Angels ask us to see the place where the Lord lay. Therefore, we come. With the invitation from the angels come the comforting words: “Fear not.” All tombs give a feeling of dread, of death, but not this one. It is alive for what was once dead is now alive. The fumes of death are not here, it is fresh, filled with life, stripped of death because it is vacant. The angels came and opened the door, rolled the stone away. They call us, not to show off what they have done but to show us the nothing that means everything, the empty grave.
Why visit the tomb of Jesus? We are tired and need our rest. The empty tomb is not just a promise of a future rest, but it is the proof of it. The trials of our lives, the sin in us and around us will not win. The grave does not get the victory for the tomb is empty.
Now that we have accepted the invitation to visit the tomb we must go inside.
What do we see as we walk into the tomb? Over the door we would undoubtedly see an inscription. Something like “In Memory of the Family of Joseph of Arimathea.” In Christ’s death our sins were placed upon Him. He had to borrow our sins to die, now He borrowed a grave to be buried. It must never be forgotten that it was our death He was dying on that tree. He died that we may live. The grave could not hold Him so why buy a new one when you would only need it for three days?
What do we see inside the tomb? We see marble floors, it is not a hole dug for a peasant, it is the grave of a rich man. Christ was a poor man. He had no place to lay His head. The clothes on His back were His only earthly possessions. How does this man with no earthly belongings end up in such a grave? Christ had done enough, it was finished. After death and for all of eternity He is to be honored and praised. The Father, therefore, gives Him a rich man’s tomb. The sufferings of Christ ended at the cross. He was smitten, spit upon, disgraced and more. His sufferings were for us. He bled and died for us. He was beaten for you and me. But now His sufferings are over. He paid the complete price for us. There is no need for God’s only begotten Son to suffer any further. The righteous man died a sinner’s death and that poor man was placed in the grave of the wealthy.
What do we see inside the tomb? We see a grave made of stone. The Rock of All Ages was buried there. That Rock is solid. That Rock provides salvation. The sinners saved two thousand years ago are still saved and people are being saved today. The rock of that tomb is solid. He is our everlasting Deliverer, Saviour, Redemption and our Solid Rock.
What do we see inside the tomb? We see a tomb that before Jesus was placed there no man ever laid there. Christ was born from a virgin womb and was buried in a virgin tomb. These two events make His identification as the Son of God unmistakable. Both the virgin womb and the virgin tomb are now empty. He was born without any help from man and rose from the dead without any help from man. He is God.
What do we see inside the tomb? We see the grave clothes folded off by themselves. This proves He was not stolen because thieves would not take the time to be neat, they must act fast. Clothes were first worn by Adam and Eve when they originally sinned. Christ now making an atonement for sin, cast the clothes away. The sin is gone, the picture of sin, the clothes are gone to. The resurrection shows the power over sin and the grave. Christ leaving the grave clothes behind pictures exactly that as well.
Now that I have accepted the angel’s invitation to come to the tomb how do I feel? On one hand there is much sorrow. Our sins caused all this to happen, that gave the reason for the Son of God to die. Our sins had to be atoned, we needed forgiveness from God and this was the only way that would be possible. God’s Son had to be placed in the sepulcher, a dead body. It was our fault.
On the other hand there are tremendous joy and happiness. Only because of this empty grave can we have any hope, peace, joy, fellowship with God, the list is endless of the blessings because of this empty hole, this empty tomb.
My name is Timothy Johnson. I am Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church of Kingman IN. I am also a correctional officer for the Federal BOP.
My wife's name is Julie and we have 4 grown children and 6 grandchildren.
My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org