Four Reasons the Empty Tomb Matters
The greatest news the world has heard is that the tomb where Christ lay is empty. Christ has risen from the dead!
But what does the empty tomb mean for us? Below are four implications of Christ’s resurrection as explained by Scripture.
1) The empty tomb means that Jesus truly is the Messiah.
When Jesus cleared the merchandizers out of the temple in John 2, he was exerting Messianic authority over the house of God. His opponents asked him what right he had to behave this way. Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19). Though his listeners did not understand him at the time, the gospel-writer tells us that Jesus was talking about his body. In other words, Jesus was stating, “If you want proof that I am the Messiah, kill me and three days later I will rise again.
Romans 1:4 states that “through the Spirit of holiness [Jesus] was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead.” This means that the resurrection is God’s way of affirming to all the world that Jesus truly is his Son.
2) The empty tomb means that death has been conquered.
The Apostle Paul referred to death as “the last enemy”. The prophet Isaiah called it “the veil that is spread over all nations”. Death is a problem that awaits us all. It is the one problem we cannot solve.
But for the believer in Christ, death has lost its sting. Just as Christ rose from the dead, so all who believe in him will also rise. The death that awaits us is a defeated enemy. It has already been conquered by our Savior. (See 1 Cor. 15:20-22.)
3) The empty tomb means that our sins are forgiven.
Romans 4:25 says, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” What does it mean to say that Jesus was raised for our justification?
When you purchase an item in a store, you are handed a receipt. The receipt is the vendor’s way of affirming that the full price of your purchase has been paid. No more is owed. The resurrection is our receipt. It is God’s way of affirming that the full price of our salvation has been paid through the death of Christ. Why is Jesus no longer in the tomb? Because everything he needed to do to atone for our sin is already done. As believers in Christ, our sins are gone.
4) The empty tomb means that we are no longer slaves.
Jesus said, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” That describes us. But when Jesus broke the chains of death and rose from the dead, sin’s mastery over us was defeated. As believers we are now free to live obedient lives for the glory of God. Romans 6:4 says, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Through our union with Christ we are no longer slaves of sin. We have been set free from sin’s dominion, free to live as children of God.