Christ’s Empty Tomb
Speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus said,
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40 emphasis mine)
“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” (John 5:45-46 emphasis mine)
Jesus is saying here, the scriptures are all about Him. And, in our Genesis study, in chapter 37, we’re about to enjoy a beautiful Old Testament picture of Jesus’ life in the story of Joseph. The picture is so compelling, God devotes a full quarter of the book of Genesis to Joseph alone. He is one of only two main characters in the Old Testament for whom there is no mention of sin (Daniel is the other). We’ll see Joseph greatly humbled as Jesus was greatly humbled, but, in the end, greatly exalted — as Jesus was greatly exalted. It’s impossible to read of him and not see the striking parallels between his life and Christ’s. All of the Old Testament testifies of Jesus but it may be that nowhere else is it more obvious than in the story of Joseph.
Here comes that dreamer! Joseph’s brothers said to each other. Let’s kill him, this one who dreamed of us bowing down to him. After, we’ll lie to our father about what became of him. Then we’ll see what happens to his dreams.
They hated Joseph, even as Jesus’ brothers hated him. The only problem with their plot was that Joseph’s dreams weren’t really Joseph’s dreams, they were God’s dreams. So when they plotted to kill him, to put a stop to those dreams, they might as well have tried to stop the wind from blowing, or the sun from shining, or the rain from falling. They were God’s dreams and God’s dreams always come to pass.
Satan plotted to kill Jesus to stop God’s dream for His Son. And on Friday, it appeared he was successful.
But on Sunday…
I am so glad for Jesus’ resurrection. I am so thankful He’s alive and available to enter into a relationship with me. I’m so blessed He’s there for me to communicate with. I’m filled with faith because He validated all His teachings and promises by dying and rising again. I’m so grateful His claims of divinity were confirmed.
God’s dream for His Son was realized, as God’s dreams always are.
I’m so very thankful.
He is risen.
But I’m also thankful for something else. I’m thankful Jesus not only rose from the dead Himself, but He brings others back from the dead as well.
While Jesus is on His way to heal the daughter of Jairus the synagogue ruler, people meet Jairus on the road and tell him, Your daughter died, so, why bother Jesus with it anymore?
Jesus overhears this, leans over, and tells Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Then He grabs Peter, James, and John, and goes to Jairus’ house where people are already mourning his daughter’s death by wailing and crying. Jesus says, Why all the fuss? She’s not dead, she’s just sleeping. But they laughed at Him.
So He sends everybody out of the room except for her father and mother, and the three disciples, He takes her by the hand and says, “Talitha koum!” which means, Little girl, get up!
Right away she stands up and starts to walk around. Of course everyone’s blown away. And get this, Jesus gives strict orders not to tell anybody about what happened. (Mark 5:35-43)
Jesus brings people back from the dead.
In my own life I can’t tell you how many times I had a problem, the kind of problem where anguish wells up inside of you. I found myself praying with everything I had, asking Christ to raise something from the dead. And He did.
Maybe you’re someone who’s feeling dead right now, or near death, or your project is dead, or your marriage is dead, or your job is dead. Maybe there are people around you who are wailing and crying. Maybe there are people around who laugh at you whenever you talk about hope.
Take heart because Jesus specializes in these situations. He’s Someone good to have in your corner. Someone good to have a relationship with, the kind of relationship where you can call on Him if you’re in trouble. You may need Him to bail you out. You may need Him to raise you, or your relationship, or your whatever, back from the dead. You may need to pray, to ask Him, with everything you have, to bring something back from the dead.
And anytime you ask for help, the better you know the person, the easier it is to ask.
So my advice to you? Get to know Him well and remain close to Him, for the rest of your life. You never know when you might need Him to say, “Talitha koum!”
He is risen.
[Image via James Emery – Creative Commons]