J.D. Greear: Because of the Empty Tomb

J.D. Greear is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

On the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion, a group of women went to His tomb. But instead of finding a dead body guarded by strong Roman guards, they found the guards fearful, looking “like dead men,” and the tomb empty.

Jesus had risen from the dead. On this fact rests every other aspect of the Christian faith.

If the resurrection of Jesus is real, it’s game-on for all things Christian. And if it isn’t, it’s game over because everything else we believe is a hoax.

If that Jerusalem tomb really is empty, then everything else in our lives suddenly looks different. What would otherwise threaten to destroy us no longer has ultimate power. The darkness that promises to speak the final word does not get the final word.

Because of the empty tomb …

Guilt doesn’t have the last word in our lives.

Apart from God, we stand condemned. Our guilt before God deserves the wrath that we saw poured out on the cross. But because Christ hung on that cross for us, the full penalty of our sin has been absorbed. So now we can say, with the apostle Paul, “There is no more condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Injustice doesn’t have the last word.

We live in a world filled with injustice. Each of us has been wronged, sometimes in heinous ways. Injustice is so pervasive that we almost get used to it. (No one had to teach my children the phrase, “That’s not fair!”) But God never gets used to injustice. And the empty tomb is a promise that God will overturn every evil intention by bringing true justice into the world. Justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24).

Addictions don’t have the last word.

Maybe your addiction has messed up your career, your health, your family or your very life. Maybe you are so mired in addiction that you can’t even imagine a way out. The resurrection means that God’s power to heal is available to you today. And even if you struggle till your dying day against the darkness of addiction, the resurrection is a promise that God will raise you to new life — whole life, abundant life — with His Son.

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Source: Baptist Press