As people gathered in churches across the globe this past weekend there was the familiar exchange and refrain of “He is Risen!” “He is Risen indeed!” It was Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday, depending on your upbringing. The corporate gathering of the church is bigger, the singing of the people is louder, and the celebration of the saints is vibrant in the air. He is not here; He has risen! The tomb is empty, Jesus has overcome the cross and the grave and now everything changes. It is great news! It is glorious news! It is news that, by God’s grace, moves people from death and destruction into a full and abundant life. It is news that sets the captive free and breaks the chains of sin. It is news worth celebrating. Easter is here, the tomb is empty, and our Savior is alive! But it is not news meant merely for Sunday morning.
Every year I am in awe of the power of God and the transforming work that He does in and through the church during the Easter season. Every year I witness, in my own congregation and across my various social media feeds, people being saved by the power of Christ as they trust and believe in Him during an Easter service or outreach event. But here is the reminder for each of us in the days, the weeks, and the months following Easter; the tomb still stands empty today.
There is power in that truth today. Too often, I have been guilty of hyping up and making the emphasis on the day versus the purpose. Too often, the focus has been geared towards Easter as a day of remembrance rather than Easter as a powerful display of the power of God that still stands today. This week you will encounter many stories of people who were saved or transformed by the power of the gospel. But God’s work is not limited to some kind of one-day-a-year special; it is an ongoing and enduring work. The same power that saw Jesus walk out of the grave, the same power that saw dead people made alive this past weekend, is the same power that is alive in the church TODAY! If you’re a believer, it’s the same power that dwells inside of you, equipping you for the work of ministry. And that should encourage us.
That should encourage us as we hit the rush hour traffic this morning and are tempted to give a not so friendly hand salute to the person who cut us off. That should encourage us as we sit down at our desks and see the pile of work and assignments that have stacked up over the weekend. It should encourage us as we talk with our neighbors and our coworkers and our family members or as we coach our kids pee-wee soccer games. Why? Because God is still setting captives free, today! He is still healing and breaking the chains of people, today! He is still at work in the redemption and restoration of His people, today! And this is news worth proclaiming, this is truth worth rejoicing over, this is hope worth sharing. So today, by God’s power and grace, live in the fullness of the empty tomb. Today, walk in the power of the One who knew no sin but took on our sin and our punishment and our death and stood victorious over it. Remember, today, that the tomb still stands empty. And may that give you hope, may that give you power, may that give you conviction to proclaim the full and abundant life found in Jesus to your neighbors and to the nations.