'Nothing' changes everything
'Nothing' changes everything
22 April 2019
They thought everything had changed when they saw Jesus taken down from the cross.
His bruised, broken and lifeless body – laid in a tomb sealed with a stone – indicated everything had changed.
All the hopes and dreams of this new Kingdom he had taught about were now fading into the confusion and grief that accompanied the darkened sky over Calvary on that Friday afternoon. Nothing would ever be the same again.
In the early hours of the third day, his followers went to the tomb. There they found nothing that they expected. His body wasn’t there. The stone, rolled away, now revealed an empty tomb.
It was this moment of finding ‘nothing’ expected that changed everything. It changed everything then and still changes everything today. The empty tomb stands as a witness to the power and promise-keeping faithfulness of God! That changes everything. Jesus told his disciples he would rise from the dead.
The empty tomb validates every teaching and promise of Jesus. The power of God, even over death, was clearly demonstrated when they found the tomb empty. It was only when they found nothing, that the disciples began to realise everything had truly changed.
This empty tomb discovery was the beginning of a journey into a new and deepening understanding of Jesus, his teaching and mission.
The lifechanging implications of finding nothing they had anticipated in that tomb would take a lifetime to understand. But it was the discovery of a resurrected Jesus that changed everything, in that moment and for the rest of their lives.
Christians around the globe will take the journey once again from Calvary and the remembrance of the sacrificial expression of the love of God as Jesus died upon a cross, through to the Sunday morning celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.
The stone that sealed the tomb had been rolled away, not so Jesus could escape the grave, but so that his disciples would find nothing. In all of our abundance and ability to find what’s needed in the moment, it is not until we find the ‘nothing’ of the empty tomb that we truly experience the heartfelt longing for deep change.
As we gaze into the truth of the empty tomb once again this Easter, hear the invitation to embrace the deep change and transformation that finding the tomb empty offers. Know afresh that every promise God has made to you he is faithful to keep – the empty tomb is proof of his faithfulness to his promise (Psalm 119:89- 90).
Know afresh that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power that is available to you today through his Spirit (Ephesians 1:19-20). Those that found the tomb empty, even before they could fully understand all that it meant, knew that others needed to know that finding ‘nothing’ does change everything.
Let’s not wait until we have fully understood all that the empty tomb means. That will take a lifetime. There are others all around us waiting for the word of hope that change is possible, because the tomb is empty. Nothing still changes everything!
Commissioner Floyd Tidd is Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army Australia Territory.