The Empty Tomb and the Urgent Mission

 

He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.
-Matthew 28:6 NASB

Today is the day we celebrate the fact that these words could be truly spoken some two thousand years ago. The tomb was and is empty and the Son of God is risen just as He said. This is reason to celebrate!

But in all the celebration, I fear that we sometimes forget the responsibility that comes with our belief in a resurrected Saviour. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that only a few lines later Matthew writes, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, some of the most widely known verses in all the New Testament:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
-Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

Our confidence in the resurrection of Christ should bring about a response of utter devotion to the mission of Christ. If he is risen “just as He said” then He will build His Church just as He said (Matthew 16:18). The question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we in?” If this story is true, how can we neglect our commission in order to bask in our comforts? In light of the truth that the vast majority of the world is headed to an eternity apart from the joy of the presence of the resurrected Christ, how can we separate the Easter celebration from a passion for the nations?

I’m in the process of reading Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China in the latter half of the 19th century. In this interaction, Taylor is speaking with a Chinese man who had recently been converted to Christ under his ministry:

He (the convert) it was who, talking with his missionary friend (Taylor), unexpectedly raised the question: “How long have you had the Glad Tidings (Good News) in your country?”

 “Some hundreds of years,” was the reluctant reply.

 “What! Hundreds of years? My father sought the Truth,” he continued sadly, “and died without finding it. Oh, why did you not come sooner?” (71)

“Oh, why did you not come sooner?” What heartbreaking words. I pray that as we read them we would feel that familiar lump in our throat and that burning in our eyes that reminds us of the urgency of the mission that has been graciously given to us.

This Easter, may the truth of the empty tomb drive us toward the urgent mission of proclaiming to all that He is risen and let us do it for the sake of His name among all the nations.

 

Where This Blog Is Headed

I thought about shutting this whole thing down.

I never write anything for here. I write elsewhere but never here. The truth is, I hardly write anything unless it’s assigned to me. I can’t tell you how much that saddens me. There was a time (I’ve mentioned this before) that I loved to write. I believe I still do but it certainly doesn’t feel that way at the moment. Nevertheless, there is a lot of writing in my future even if it only involves the writing I do for the Seminary. Although it may not feel as though I like to write at the moment, I do know that I like to do well in my classes. If I’m going to do well, I need to be a better writer. The best way to be a better writer? Write.

So I will.

I’m not exactly sure how that will play out here. I do know that I plan to go back and read my past blogs and delete at least a few. After that, we’ll see.

Here we go!

A Little Inspiration From The Past

 

While my and wife and I were visiting The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, we got a chance to see Charles H. Spurgeon‘s Bible on display in the library there. He’s a bit of a hero of the faith for me so it was neat to see. However, the inscription left by his eldest son really hit me in the gut. You can read it below.

The inscription reads:

Came into my possession on the death of my dear Mother who wrote “The Bible – father’s constantly used Bible, must be for the elder son, to be ever kept with reverent love as a most precious possession. How often my husband’s dear hands have turned these pages! How often his heart burned within him, as he read this sacred volume and prayed and pondered over its pages!” Incalculably precious to me for father’s sake but even more so for its own.
-October 22, 1903

Gentlemen, I don’t know about you but I pray my wife and future children would be able to say the same thing about me. Let us be men who love the Word and show the Word to our families and all those around us.

 

No Other King Did This For You

 

Twice Jesus submitted Himself to being wrapped in cloth by sinful hands. Once in life. Once in death. Both for us.

What a Savior!
What a King!

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. – Luke 2:7

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. -Luke 23:52-53

 

Some Good Friday Thoughts

 

Just a few thoughts I had throughout the day.


There’s a reason it’s called Good Friday.

The good King laid down the only good life that had ever been lived so that those who could never be good on their own could be found good in Him.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21


God isn’t good because Good Friday happened.

Good Friday happened because God is good!

Good God = Good Friday.


If the darkness of this night only puts an exclamation point on the end of what feels like another hopeless day for you, I pray that you would remember that so many years ago at this time of day all hope seemed lost. The Son of God lay dead in a tomb. There he would remain for some time but that couldn’t be how the story ends because this story never ends. Life was coming. Sunday was on the way. I can tell you in full confidence that if you trust in the same Jesus Who died on Friday and lived on Sunday that though today may be your Friday, your Sunday is on the way!

 

Unlearn What You Have Learned You Must

 

If you are a parent, could you do me and anyone else who will take part in leading your children into the future a favor?

Don’t tell them that they shouldn’t try to change the world.

It’s much easier for them to take part in changing the world if they don’t have to unlearn years of discouragement first.

 

Unknown Grace

I was thinking about the grace of God a bit last night and this thought came to mind:

Oh, the depth of grace You’ve shown, deeper still the grace unknown.

I don’t think we really have a clue just how deep grace runs or how many times it has been bestowed on us unknowingly but I think we’ll understand it better one day.

We’ll understand it better when we see grace, face to face.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
– 1 Corinthians 13:12


Waiting

I’m in a season of waiting. It feels like I’m waiting on everything and not sure what happens next. I’m not mad, just waiting. Sometimes it’s weird. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it just feels like waiting a big waiting room called life. I don’t know what happens next. Nonetheless, I say this…

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, 
and in his word I put my hope.
-Psalm 130:5

 

Is “have to” a “want to” killer?

I feel like it is for me.

When I’ve got a stack of things I “have to” write for school (which is always since I’m a history student), it kills my “want to” when it comes to writing anything else. (This is evidenced by the fact that I haven’t posted in over two months.)

I hate it.

The same thing happens to me when it comes to reading.

Is anyone else else like this?

A Piece of Wood?

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them.

-Exodus 15:22-25

A piece of wood? Seriously?

If I had to guess, that would have been my response to God.

Leaders, when your people look to you for a solution and you cry out to God, don’t always expect that what He tells you will make sense to you.

God is not required to solve our problems in the way we see fit.