For eleven years I served a church located across the road from a cemetery. I have a very clear memory of one Easter morning when, after the sunrise service, the church was full of people enjoying breakfast together but I needed some alone time – to pray and prepare for the soon-to-begin worship service. I decided to go for a walk through the cemetery; something I did quite often but this was the first (and only) time I did it on Easter morning.
Some of the grave markers dated back to 1869 and were barely legible; others were new with graphics depicting tractors and even pictures. However, every tombstone was a sign that someone died and was buried.
One usually associates cemeteries with grief, loss, and sadness but that Easter morning I was filled with joy and praise as I was reminded that caskets and graves and headstones cannot contain the lives they memorialize. For Christ-followers, death is not the end but the beginning of life the way God intended it to be lived from the creation of the earth!
Because God raised Jesus from the dead, our graves, too, will one day be empty! “The body that is sown (buried) is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” 1 Cor 15:42-44
This is the power of the empty tomb that once held Jesus! This is the hope we have because of His resurrection!
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Cor 15:51-52