Saturday Spotlight: The Empty Tomb


Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. John 20:8


He saw and believed. Why? He didn’t see Jesus resurrected—all he saw was an empty tomb. Well, not completely empty: the burial cloths that Jesus’ body had been wrapped in were still there. The trappings of death weren’t needed any more. Evidently that was enough to fuel the disciple’s faith–that and the promise Jesus made that he would, in fact, be killed, but would rise again three days later. Although the risen Christ did appear to believers several times before ascending to heaven, for this disciple, seeing the empty tomb with the trappings of death behind, was enough.


What about us? When our interests, relationships, or careers seem empty and stone cold, can we look into the emptiness and believe that Christ isn’t absent but risen and living in a new way? Can we trust that he’s inviting us to leave behind the trappings of the circumstances we may have put false hope in? Can we trust him to lead us to new life?


Christ’s victory over death gives us all hope. We celebrate the Easter joy of salvation based on the testimony of those who encountered the risen Christ. Maybe we’ve had our own encounters, too—times when we’ve heard his voice and felt the joy of his love within our hearts.


Easter joy promises new life. What will that new life look like for us in the here and now?


Prayer: Praise to the Lord of life, who conquers death in all its forms.


Reflection for sharing: Where are the empty spots in your life? Can you trust God to bring you to new life? What do you need to leave behind to accept the new life you’re being offered?


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All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.


It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.


I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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