Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Empty Tomb

At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn't find the body of the Master Jesus. Luke 24:1-3 (The Message Bible)

It is Easter morning, and I started writing the expected Easter morning trumpets and halleluiahs. Then my husband walked into the room and I came back to the 21st century. Here’s my Easter story.

My husband works as the caretaker of the cemetery in town. It is finally Spring here and he is glad to go back to work. All winter, the local funeral directors have been placing caskets, filled with the departed, into a cement block building at the edge of the cemetery. During the last few weeks, with the melting of the snow, those caskets have been pulled out of winter storage and given their final resting places. Some of those bodies were lowered into the ground with no ceremony, only the funeral director doing his job and my husband saying a silent prayer for whoever it was. Most of the time, though, the family returns for one more send off, one more good bye.

What if a family came to the cemetery on the appointed time and day, and my husband told them, “I am sorry, I don’t know what happened. Your loved one isn’t here.” The tomb is empty.

If that really happened, someone would be in trouble. I don’t think that any of the family would think that Mom or Dad was raised from the dead. But the beauty, the wonder, of Easter is that the tomb really is empty. The body may still be there, but Mom or Dad, Sister or Brother isn’t there. If they were believers, they are not dead, they have eternal life and all because that tomb was empty on the first Easter morning.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the empty tomb, words can never say how much we thank you.

(Picture is not from my husband's cemetery; it is a cemetery near Rockland in Michigan's UP.)

No comments: