If you read your Bibles closely, you might be surprised to know there were 3 tombs that are extremely significant to us.
The first one was the tomb that Joseph owned. In Luke we read that no one was ever laid in this tomb. This tomb was the grave of anticipation. It’s job was to lie in wait completely empty. It’s very purpose is to house the dead, but until Jesus’ mission was complete, it’s aspiration was unfulfilled.
The second tomb is the one Jesus was laid in. This is the tomb of defeat. When Jesus slept here, the world wailed in disappointment. The only thing worse than having a messiah is to get one and then lose Him. Was Jesus simply crazy… or did they kill their only hope? Men’s hearts hurt deeply when this tomb was occupied. Everything was questioned and nothing made sense. How could the man that raised the dead succumb to death himself? This was one of history’s darkest days. Three of them, in fact. Men sobbed, demons cheered, and the great I Am was seemingly buried having not yet fulfilled all of His promises.
The third tomb still exists to this day. It’s the one that the women and the disciples and the soldiers all found open and empty. In it rests neatly folded burial garments. This tomb has many names. Hope! Victory! God lives! This is my favorite tomb, because it’s not just an empty one, but it’s one whose purpose has been fulfilled.
You might be thinking, these are all the same tomb! Please understand, they are each very different from the other. Each could not be without the other and each one gives birth to the next.
We too are three different people. Not at the same time of course, but each one is a possible us. Just like the first tomb, without Jesus, we are empty. We have no purpose other than to hope something somehow happens to us.
Just like the second tomb, if we reject Jesus, or ignore His pleas for too long, He will leave us to lead a life without Him, should we Choose. Of course, we still have Jesus… He doesn’t actually leave. But… rather than keep Him in our hearts, which were prepared for Him, we wrap Him up and seal the door. What makes this tomb the saddest is that, just like the guard at the cross, we don’t realize what we are doing. We think we are ‘living’, but all we are doing is wrapping our Savior in the clothes He is to be buried in… away from our active lives.
The last tomb is by far the most amazing. It sits empty. But not like the first tomb. The first never had anyone lay in it. The third tomb has. It’s purpose is fulfilled. How many bodies don’t need their resting places anymore? How many times can you resell a full burial plot? You can’t. There is no value in an occupied grave. And all the unoccupied graves are waiting on time to fulfill their destinies. But what about this strange anomaly? This one tomb in all of history that both served its purpose and sits open and empty? This is our tomb if we have Jesus. We serve a risen Savior that defeated death. Not just for Himself but for us too.
To reach our full potential we each die to self. Through Jesus we exit the tombs of our past and arise victorious with Him. We leave fear, uncertainty, condemnation and defeat behind and take on hope, peace and love. This third tomb is a crucial part of God’s plan. He planned for His Son to take the tomb so that we could follow and arise. It’s important to remember all three tombs. But of greatest importance is to make sure we fulfill our purpose. To fill that tomb, take on Christ, and exit a new creation.
Three tombs. One who has no Savior at all, one who has a Savior but hides, rejects, or ignores Him, and the last one… the one that lets you enter a sinner and walk out redeemed.
It’s not JUST about remembering Christ. It’s not a story to be told about a man that deserves our respect on Easter. It’s about opening our own tomb doors and leaving dead end lives behind. It’s about emerging with Christ out of the grave and in our hearts where He Has always wanted to be. And it’s about living each day for the one that did this for us.
This day, more than any other, is about where you put your Jesus. have you never met Him? Is he banging on your heart’s door never to be answered? Or have you followed Him to a new life?