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An Empty Tomb or An Empty Faith?

But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.

Acts 2:24

Battle Drill Daily Devotional

Read Acts 2:14-41.

How do you feel about Christ’s resurrection? In the 1980’s it became fashionable for Christians to deny that such supernatural events had truly taken place. But a Christian faith without an empty tomb is an empty faith!

Peter focused part of his Pentecost sermon on the resurrection of Jesus. He proclaimed it forthrightly! As you read his words, you need to remember that the events he was speaking about had taken place less than two months before. Jesus’ death on the cross and news of his subsequent resurrection were still hot news in Jerusalem and beyond.

Jesus’ execution on a cross outside of the city had taken place in public. I imagine that a number of people listening to Peter at Pentecost had witnessed it for themselves. His empty tomb was available for inspection just a short walk away from where Peter was speaking. If Jesus had not truly died, if the tomb was not truly empty, then Peter would have been laughed at or simply ignored. If Jesus had not been resurrected, then the Roman or Jewish authorities would have produced his body and put an end to Peter’s sermon on the spot. The fledgling Christian faith would have died on its feet.

But Peter and his fellow disciples had witnessed Christ’s death and resurrection, and it changed them. They had witnessed and met with the resurrected Jesus. And so, in the power of his Holy Spirit, they announced the news with great passion, conviction and authenticity. And because of that, many people believed them.

Our faith and our credibility as followers of Jesus rest on the truth of the empty tomb. Why? Because his resurrection means he is the Son of God, just as he said he was. It means his word and his promises can be trusted. It means the sacrifice he made for our sin on the cross was indeed acceptable to God. Because of that we can be sure we will be truly forgiven by God. It means that our Saviour is still living and active in our lives and in the world. He is here to help us when we are in need. It means that one day, we too will conquer death and live with God for ever.

When you share your faith with others, don’t forget the empty tomb!

Sing above the toil and strife:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
By his death and endless life
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing it softly through the gloom,
When the heart for mercy craves;
Sing in triumph o’er the tomb:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Priscilla Jane Owens (1829-1907)
Used By Permission. CCL Licence No. 30158
Copied from The Song Book of The Salvation Army
Song Number 939

Think It Over

Think about the following:

  • Are you embarrassed when you try to explain to a non-Christian about Christ’s resurrection? Why do you think it’s important to emphasise it?

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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