Wednesday, April 12th
Devotional written by Pastor Brian Howard, Teaching Pastor
THE EVIDENCE OF THE EMPTY TOMB
I have often heard people state that it would be easier for them to trust God if they had seen the miraculous stories of the Bible. More specifically, they would find it easier to believe in Jesus if they had seen Him after the resurrection. They assume the first disciples had an advantage because they could see, touch, and speak to Jesus after that first Easter. But this is where it is important for us to read Scripture carefully and closely. Notice that in this passage, the “other disciple” – undoubtedly John – believed not because he saw the resurrected Jesus but because he saw the empty tomb. John’s belief came not from something we have no immediate access to (seeing the resurrected Jesus) but rather something we do have access to (the knowledge that the tomb was empty).
This is the simple yet profound grounding of our faith. Jesus is alive; therefore, we can believe!
In the fall of 2019, I had the privilege and joy of traveling to Israel. While there, we went to the two sites that have had some historical claim to being Jesus’ tomb. I am not interested in resolving the archeological debate of which was indeed Jesus’ tomb, but it is important to note that they are both empty! It should never be lost on us that the many first-century opponents would only have had to find the tomb of Jesus and produce His dead body, and the entire church would have been stopped in its tracks. There was every incentive for the dead body of Jesus to be brought out as conclusive proof that He did not rise from the dead, but that never happened.
The simple point of today’s devotional is this; you have good, solid, historical, and reasonable grounds to believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on that first Easter Sunday.
Reflection: Thank God that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive!