Friday, April 14, 2017

An Empty Tomb?

I'm very excited to again this week join a talented group of women who connect each Friday in an online, unedited flash mob free write based on a one-word prompt from our fearless leader Kate Motaung. My timer is set for 5 minutes; let's see where the word "empty" takes me.


I'm not a Bible scholar and don't know a thing about the Greek language, and it's important to keep those facts in mind as I contemplate what happened when Mary Magdalene and, shortly thereafter, 2 of the disciples found when they arrived at Jesus' tomb that Sunday morning so long ago.

According to the King James Version account in all 4 Gospels, Mary Magdalene and the disciples discovered that the stone had been rolled away from the mouth of the tomb, that "they" had "taken away the Lord" and He "was not there". 

In not one of those accounts does the Gospel writer say the tomb was empty!

And why would he? It wasn't!

Yes, I know, I know. We've all heard all our lives that the tomb was empty. If you check many Bibles, you'll find a subheading for this portion of the Scripture, and that subheading might even read "The Empty Tomb". 

But that's not what the actual Scripture says. It merely says that Jesus was no longer in the tomb.

You may be shrugging right now and saying, "What's the big deal? Jesus wasn't there. What's wrong with saying the tomb was empty?"

I think we can agree that that moment -- the moment it is discovered Jesus' body has been "taken away" and before the realization that he has risen of His own accord, is a very low, perhaps even the lowest point of Scripture. 


And because we have so often heard and said "the tomb was empty", we picture a barren place, a place devoid of God.  

But it wasn't. Because God -- God the Father -- is always with us. The Bible tells us that over and over again. When Mary Magdalene looked into the tomb, and when the disciples looked into the tomb, they were not alone. God was with them, just as he promises to be. He's omnipresent, remember? 

But again, why is that important? 

Because we need to remember that even at this time when Christ' own followers thought all was lost, God was there with them.

We need to reinforce the truth that no matter how bad things were for Jesus' followers, no matter how alone they may have felt, God was there with them.

Because the same is true of us. 





14 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this insightful post. Such a great reminder that God is with us. Isaiah said that He would be called Immanuel-God with us! He is with us now, alway and even until the end of the world. He is risen!

    pat(lookingawaytohim.blogspot.com), your neighbor at 5 Minute Friday

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    1. He is risen indeed! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. :)

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  3. I've never considered that Patti but of course, we are never alone because he's always with us. Thanks for bringing that out.

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  4. I think this is so insightful and such a great reminder of God's presence even when He feels completely absent. "When I descend into hell, you are there" (Psalm 139 says). Our feelings of his absence, of emptiness and vacantness, are not the whole story. Thanks for this.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I absolutely love your last sentence and have added it to my "quotes" notebook. :)

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  5. Interesting point! Reminds me of how kids say "God is everywhere, right? I'm in the 43 spot this week.

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    1. Thank you for visiting. I love that your kids recognize His omnipresence -- out of the mouths of babes, right? :)

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  6. A great message. Yes, God is with us at all times. Happy Easter!

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    1. Blessed Easter to you as well, Melissa. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  7. Patti, this is great - a fresh perspective that stips away everything but the Truth. GREAT post. A keeper.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/04/your-dying-spouse-297-easter-rising-and.html

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    1. Andrew, I am touched by your visit and your kind words. Coming from a writer whose words and writing style inspire me, your comment means a lot!
      I apologize for not responding sooner, but I've been without wifi for over a week.

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  8. Patti, This is what I love about the fmf group-reading fresh perspectives of scripture. Your point isn't insignificant. It's affirmation of God's promise:"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deut. 31:6. Even Jesus in his "descent into Hades" was never abandoned. So even in the initial despair of the women seeing an empty tomb, God was present.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Stephanie. So often I feel as if I write in a vacuum (what blogger/author doesn't, I wonder), so I really do appreciate it.

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