Speaking of Life 5023 | Empty Tomb and Open Gate
A few weeks ago, we celebrated Easter Sunday, one of the most significant days in the Christian calendar. Many of us likely spent a lot of time hearing about and meditating on the Empty Tomb. This is good because the Christian faith is based on the fact that Jesus is not dead — his tomb is, indeed, empty. Jesus is alive and we are reconciled to God and each other because of it.
The Empty Tomb means that our sins have been forgiven and that humanity has been made new in Christ. As Christians, we should give a lot of our attention to the empty tomb. The empty tomb helps us understand Jesus referring to himself as the open gate.
In the tenth chapter of John, Jesus describes himself as the gate by which the sheep can find pasture. In the parable, those who follow Christ are his beloved sheep. The passage says:
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
In this season of Easter, let’s focus on what it means to live in the reality of Christ’s resurrection. In other words, we have an opportunity to give our attention to why we were saved, and how we are being invited to respond to God’s gift of grace. According to this passage, part of the reason that Jesus rescued and redeemed us is so we can experience a full, abundant life in him.
Jesus is depicted as the gate that leads to life and because of his sacrifice, the gate is wide open to all. No matter our current circumstances, abundant life is available to us in Jesus. This does not mean that our lives will be perfect once we start following him, however, it does mean that in every situation, Jesus will be with us and our relationship with him is the richest of blessings.
It also means that one day believers will experience eternal life — an existence where there will be no more pain or suffering and there will be rejoicing without end. We have been saved by Jesus to live an abundant, full life in Christ — a life where Jesus fills all our moments with his life-giving presence. The gate to this life has been opened wide by Christ when he left that tomb, so what are we waiting for? Let us not hesitate to run away from things trying to steal our joy and into Christ’s wide-open arms. There he is offering us an abundance of forgiveness and love.
I’m Jeff Broadnax, Speaking of Life.