It is Easter Morning, nearly 3,000 years after the first (though if we’re to go off of Passover, we may be off by a week or so). The Tomb is still empty, and so it is not fulfilling the purpose of a Tomb, but it proves to be one of the most useful tombs in the world. Why? Why is it so valuable? When we have a car that does not run, we call it junk. When we have computers that won’t turn on, we scrap them. What’s so great about an Empty Tomb? Simply put, it’s the down payment on the Future Glory of Jesus Christ.
What do I mean by down payment? Because it is the beginning of the renewal of the entire world. Jesus, the Firstfruits from the dead is alive! In His life as a man (though He was fully man, He was also fully God), He lived perfectly according to God’s standards, a deed we could not hope to fulfill. In every way, He fulfilled God’s righteous requirements, knowing we could not, and He gave Himself up, even to the point of death on a cross to pay for our crimes. He took our sin and punishment, and all of God’s wrath upon Himself that, for those who believe, we would be sanctified and sealed for the day of redemption. And that tomb, that obsolete, abundantly precious hole in the rock, did not hold Him. Three days later, He emerged, alive and triumphant, conquering death once and for all, that we, also, would have the promise of everlasting life in Him. We are alive in an abundant life because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross and in that tomb, and we shall have eternal life in Him because that tomb is empty!
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.