On that first “Easter” morning, Jesus’ disciples did not understand that when they entered that hillside sepulcher and stood in the cool, empty space within those tomb walls, they were surveying the most significant void in the history of the world.
Their puzzled disappointment at not finding Him dead would lead to their bewildered astonishment at seeing Him alive. It was precisely because they couldn’t find Him in the place where they were looking for Him that He was able to appear to them in places they were not.. It was because they didn’t find Him in the tomb that they encountered Him elsewhere–in the upper room, on the sea shore.
In time, the disciples would understand, as we do, that the permanent vacancy of Jesus’ grave guarantees His permanent residency in our hearts. His perpetual absence from the burial chamber ensures His abiding presence with us forever.
The vacancy of Jesus’ tomb is the one emptiness that answers our emptiness because it means that now we can be filled:
- with His Spirit
- with His joy
- with His peace
- with faith
- with love
- with hope
And the hope we have in Him is unshakeable because the One who left His tomb empty fills us, fills history, fills eternity, fills all.