The Emptiness of Easter
It’s sobering to realize how quickly life can change. Just a month ago, we were dining in restaurants, shopping in stores, playing at sports and worshiping in churches. Today, little of that remains due to a new and deadly virus that has brought the greatest country in the world to its knees. The economy is in free fall, our healthcare system is stressed, schools are closed and churches are empty.
We feel that emptiness. On several levels. Not only are buildings physically vacant, but fear and uncertainty have taxed our minds, leaving us mentally drained. Social distancing has isolated us in homes and hospital wards, causing psychological desolation. Many of us have lost sources of income, leaving us financially barren. If there is anything we have learned in this crisis, it is that we are woefully unprepared for life’s greatest challenges. And that realization has left us feeling vulnerable…and empty.
In this Easter season, we are reminded once again that there is hope. The empty cross and the empty tomb are symbols of God’s promise that one day, Sin will no longer enslave us. One day, Death will no longer reign. One day, our tombs will be empty, too!
But the greatest realization of all is that the One who hung on that cross and lay in that tomb emptied Himself to be our Savior. The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:5-8, NASB:
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Death is the worst emptiness of all. As He hung on that cross, crying “My Father, my Father, why have You forsaken me?,” Jesus experienced that ultimate emptiness because of your sin and mine. But through His emptiness, we have the opportunity to experience the fullness of His life within us…forever.
As someone wisely observed, “the promises of this world are filled with emptiness, but the emptiness of Easter is filled with promise.” A promise of Redemption. A promise of Reconciliation. A promise of Resurrection. A promise of Reunion. A promise that is ours, if we will reach out by faith to receive it.