I just finished reading an impactful book, “If The Tomb Is Empty,” by pastor Joby Martin. Joby is the pastor of the Eleven22 Church in Jacksonville, FL.
This is not a book review, per se – but more a written revelation of the power of the Gospel.
Now I’m sure I knew this deep down but in this book the profoundness of it sank in.
Remember way back when in Genesis when Abraham was instructed to take his son Isaac, his only son, Isaac, to Mount Moriah to offer a sacrifice. Abraham was asked by the LORD to sacrifice his son, his only son, on an altar. I don’t know about you but I’d be hard-pressed to tie up my beloved son and place him on a bed of kindling to be burned up after I plunged a knife in his heart.
But, Abraham did it. Took his son, his only son, and hiked to the land of Moriah. He was ready to plunge the death knife when God said, “Abraham! Stop!” At the very same time father Abraham heard the bleating of a sheep, a perfect lamb, in the thicket. And God said, “Here is the sacrifice!”
Approximately eighteen hundred years later, God walked with His Son, His only Son, Jesus Christ, up to the same hill – known today as [Golgotha]. This time the Sacrifice bore a crossbeam across His tattered bare back and tied to His wrists.
This time, there was no sacrificial lamb in the brush – Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God.
*Same mountain – different sacrifice. [please read below]
Yes, we all know ‘the rest of the story,’ don’t we? The Lord Jesus Christ, crucified, bearing the weight and the burden of our sin, was the only sufficient sacrifice to redeem a broken and doomed world.
God’s Son, His only Son, died on Mount Calvary, was buried in a new and borrowed tomb, and, on the Third Day, resurrected and over the course of some days appeared to 500+ people.
If the tomb was empty on day 3 – that enables me to become more than I ever thought possible. That is not intended to be taken in a vain manner. If the tomb was empty, and I believe with my whole heart that it was, something in me must change. I am no longer the same.
Let me explain.
When we look back over the miracles Jesus performed, we see Jesus Christ instructing the recipients to do something.
- Lazarus of Bethany. John 11. “Lazarus, come forth – loose him from his grave clothes.” John 11.43-44. In other words Jesus instructed him to go change his clothes, you’re not dead anymore – you are more alive than you’ve ever been!
- The crippled man at the pool of Bethesda. John 5. “Do you want to be made well? Rise, take up your bed and walk!” John 5.6-8. In other words – don’t just lie there on that bed – get up and do something – you are a walking man now – go live.
- The adulterous woman. John 8. “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go! and sin no more!” John 8.10-11. In other words – woman, you are free, found innocent, go live your life and do not fall into sin anymore because I have set you free.
That tomb IS empty. There are no IF’s to this historical fact. And, because it is empty, we as believers and followers of Christ can be more alive than we’ve ever been. We have the power to do something – to change the world for someone. We can go live our free life because no one can condemn us – Jesus set us free.
Am I living like this?
Grace & Hope,
*P.S. In further study I have learned the mountain name was not correct but the sacrifices were indeed on the same mountain.