Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Empty Tomb

What’s so great about an empty tomb? I'll try to explain what it means to me.

I don’t claim to be a specialist on the Resurrection, but no matter how you slice it, Jesus’ empty tomb is unique in the fact that indeed historic documentation tells us, three days after His crucifixion, the tomb He was buried in came up empty.

Most world leaders of any consequence that have died are buried somewhere. Most religious leaders who have died are also buried someplace.

But with Jesus, that’s another story.

Most of us have experienced the loss of someone to the sting of death, a relative or a friend. And we can take you to their grave site and show you the headstone and often the sunken earth covering the vault. But I for one have never met anyone that has died, been buried, and three days later rose again, except Jesus.

Some of you might argue that my exception to the resurrection rule, namely Jesus, cannot be proven as fact that He is alive or has ever been alive since His crucifixion. And I would say; “Indeed you’re right”. I cannot prove it based upon empirical data, or beyond the historic musings of brain washed (or renewed) followers that the resurrection occurred, but I can rest upon something more than empirical data.

I rest upon an experience that for me is beyond dispute. I rest upon an encounter with Jesus Christ on a personal basis that is no less than esoteric and more often far greater.

Like most things in life that are challenging to the rational senses, i.e. high levels of pain, high levels of adrenaline, high levels of ecstasy, high levels of wonder and awe and even high levels of common joy and satisfaction, my experience with Jesus Christ is almost beyond description. It’s like something that surpasses all understanding, especially for the uninitiated.

And yet concrete proof seems to be what resurrection opponents are looking for. It’s like asking someone to prove or explain the experiential effects of lysergic acid diethylamide on individual human beings. One can observe outward behaviors and testimonials regarding the experience, but until someone has actually dropped acid, it’s nearly impossible to describe the experience.

I’m in no way advocating drug use, but for the uninitiated, they will never fully understand the experience nor understand why someone might use of that type of substance. The same is true when someone encounters the Living God. Until you experience Him in a personal way, you really cannot fully comprehend nor appreciate the powerful life changing effects.

So when it comes to an empty tomb, it does matter. The God that I know, based upon my personal relational experience with His Son, has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the empty tomb is valid, because that Son has touched my life.

And no matter how hard anyone would argue otherwise, my personal relational experience and the same with millions of others is indisputable. I only wish that the billions of individuals that have yet to fully experience the empty tomb and the Living Risen Savior Jesus Christ would take the plunge and begin to communicate with Him. He is alive. He will speak to your heart. He is able to forgive your sin. He is able to heal your pain and give you the capacity to live in peace. He has made a way for you to have a personal relational experience with His Father, the one and only true and Living God.

It’s all simply a matter of realizing the power and potential of this empty tomb. I know I can never fully convince the skeptics, but I know what I’ve experienced. And nothing will ever change that… absolutely nothing.

He is Alive.

1 comment:

  1. This approach can be used to prove anything. It gives validity to all beliefs, including those which contradict yours. All someone has to do is have an inner experience and enunciate it. Bang, it's true. Not to be unkind, but Nietzsche noticed this when he said "a visit to an asylum is all that's necessary to see that faith proves nothing".

    If personal experience is proof, this means that all beliefs are on an equal footing and there is no way to rank them. Crystal healing, reiki, aura cleansing and coffee enemas would all be covered by insurance. In fact, it completely discards the notion of an objective reality we can agree on and opens the door to an infinity of possible universes. This is the medieval morass science hopes to supplant.

    You're a good man, Russell. But I strongly suspect that if you were born in a Muslim country, that your built-in sense of the divine would have led you to an equally sincere revelation that Allah is the one true God. Religion is largely hereditary.