I cannot imagine what must have been going through Jesus’ disciples’ minds when Jesus’ tomb was found empty. The empty tomb must have mirrored the emptiness in their hearts after witnessing Jesus taken away, wrongfully condemned, and crucified.
All of us encounter empty tombs in our lives: Moments of great confusion following periods of great suffering and anguish when we realize the reason for it is past.
They are moments of choice.
Turning points in our lives when we choose whether to believe.
When we choose whether we will follow our hearts and live life fully — or remain in the dark tombs we have placed ourselves in.
When we choose whether to accept Jesus — when we choose whether to obey God.
“A lawyer once asked Jesus, ‘Sir, which is the most important command in the laws of Moses?’ Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important commandment is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find you are obeying all others.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
The story of Easter is a story of life’s relation to God, for even death obeys Him.
The story of Easter is a story of renewal and rebirth for those who choose to believe.
It is an opportunity for us to make the most important choice we will ever make: Whether to trust our hearts and to believe in Jesus. To accept that we are God’s children and by doing so, to accept that we are loved and forgiven and we are meant to love and forgive others.
When our hearts remain empty, perhaps it is because we are placing non-life fulfilling constraints on them and grieving for something or someone who is no longer there.
Love is bigger than that. It is bigger than one thing or one person. It is bigger than ourselves.
God’s love has the power to enter the tomb we have created for ourselves and crush whatever spiritual death or sleep we are in. We have only to believe to receive it.
It is my Easter prayer for the world that we will fill the empty tombs in our hearts with love for God and for one another. For only then will we experience the eternal Spring embodied by Jesus’ name.
Photo by Vinicius Moreira Da Silva