Scattered Scribbles, Sermons & Stories of a holiness preacher.
Echo of the Empty Tomb
This is an article I wrote for the Flaming Sword several years ago, I found it and wanted to share it on the blog. Isn’t it wonderful we have a RISEN SAVIOR!!!
Have you ever been in an empty house or a room without any furniture? Everything you say seems to echo. Travis and Corey, my two son’s, enjoy yelling as loudly as they can in the large shopping mall’s open areas, just so they can hear the echo. Often as a child I would sing or holler loudly to hear it echo off the woods and hills around where I lived. There is something about an echo that grabs your attention, and makes you listen. An echo is a strange phenomenon that is caused when sound bounces off of objects. Sound travels about 300 meters a second that is approximately 984 feet. That is fast. A really good echo will return after several seconds. Smooth rocks echo well like those found in caves. Being enclosed almost all sounds will echo in a cave or tunnel. How that must have echoed in that empty tomb as the angel asked those poor, mournful, weeping, confused women, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” How it must have reverberated in that empty tomb as those angels said excitedly “HE IS NOT HERE FOR HE IS RISEN” Oh how that tomb resounds in victory. “He is not here for He is risen.” He’s alive and well and all that remains are the grave clothes and blood stains. He has atoned for Adams fallen race. “The English word “atonement” comes from two words “at onement” and denotes a state of togetherness and agreement between two people” according to the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.
Hear the echo of the empty tomb as it shouts out the good news;
“FULFILLMENT” PAID IN FULL The price is paid. I don’t think this truth fully impacted those poor women that day, but there came a day when suddenly the light dawned upon them. I like to think that one day when they were in the upper room praying and waiting on God prior to Pentecost, someone stood to their feet and began to read that beautiful prophesy in Isaiah 53:4-6 “Surely he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Perhaps Cleopas began to expound upon what was read, how that Jesus, when He was walking with them on the road to Emmaus even though they did not know it was him, “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”Maybe Cleopas went on to explain that God had laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all meant that, Jesus carried our sins to the cross, he fulfilled God’s demands for a sacrifice. We cannot give anything to secure our salvation, it’s already paid. HALLELUJAH! Sing it louder than the noise of the war and strife, sing it louder than the clamor of the world. Sing it louder than the falling stock market and financial crisis. Let it ring from shore to shore. The debt for your sins is paid in full.
Jesus cried aloud from the cross, “It is finished.” He has won the battle, he is victorious. His sacrifice is accepted. He has fulfilled it all. Listen to it echo down through the corridors of history, past all of the charlatans and wolves in sheep’s clothing and thieves and robbers who tried to come another way. “I am the door, no man can come to the Father but by me,” and again, “I came not to destroy the law but to fulfill.” How that tomb echoes with fulfillment.
The tomb also echos in, FORGIVENESS – From the cross Jesus cried, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” In His last agonizing hours, Jesus softly spoke those words to the thief on his side, “This day be with me in Paradise.” Now as He steps from the tomb with the blood of THE LAMB to ascend to the Holy of Holies in Heaven, one thing is in mind to present Himself before the Father, to, as Charles Wesley wrote, “He ever lives above for me to intercede; His all redeeming love, His precious blood to plead. His blood atoned for all our race, And sprinkles now the throne of grace. Five bleeding wounds he bears, received on Calvary; They pour effectual prayers, They strongly plead for me. “Forgive him, Oh, forgive,” they cry. “Forgive him, oh, forgive,” they cry. “Nor let that ransomed sinner die.”
The tomb echoes and reechoes with the beautiful song of grace and forgiveness. Is it any wonder Mary fell at his feet, or that Thomas cried, “My Lord and My God” or Peter somewhere between Calvary and Pentecost found that forgiveness and could rise and preach under the powerful anointing of the Holy Ghost, “This is that…” Acts 2:16, and “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) What a promise those who will call on His name will find forgiveness.
Listen to the tomb as it echo with FREEDOM – Jesus declared, “ I am the way the Truth and the Life,” in another place it is written, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” That leads us to a rather logical conclusion. To be free you must know the Truth, and oh what freedom he brings. The songwriter put it to music this way, “Glorious Freedom wonderful freedom, no more in chains of sin I repine. Jesus the glorious Emancipator, now and forever, He shall be mine.” Is it any wonder that John Newton when he found Jesus the resurrected Savior he sat down and penned those immortal words. “Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now I see.” Jesus had given him freedom real freedom. Jesus gives us that kind of freedom, freedom from sin and carnality. Freedom hear it echo, listen to the sound from those who were bound but now are free, really free. Jesus was freed from the bounds of the grave clothes. He was loosed from them, death had lost it’s grip upon our Lord. HE WAS FREE. He wants to give us the same freedom.
For neatly two thousand years that tomb has echoed and will echo forever in victory and triumph over the world the flesh and the Devil. Hallelujah! It has brought fulfillment forgiveness and freedom to a lost and dying world, it has given us the hope of everlasting life with Christ, the one who emptied the tomb, and let it’s joyous shouts echo for eternity. Listen to the echo from the empty tomb.
Watch this video of the Talley Trio as they sing “He’s Alive” written by Don Francisco.
Raised in a small rural town in Northern Missouri with a family of eight. Graduated high school, married his childhood sweetheart Angie from TX. Later being called to preach was Ordained by the Bible Holiness Church. Pastor Gordon and his wife have pastored the Wichita Bible Holiness Church since 2008.
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