An empty tomb, a heart full of joy

Joey Crandall

Joey Crandall

Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!”

– Luke 24:5b-6a

I think about that group of  ladies, arriving that Sunday morning to find something that had been clearly promised and yet, to them, was still wildly unexpected.

Just days prior, they watched as the stone rolled over the mouth of that tomb. They heard it rumble and grind against the face of the tomb, and then settle into place 

All we ever have to do is read to the next chapter, and all is well again.

But it wasn’t like that to live it in real time. 

For those who loved Him, nothing in those moments between His death and His resurrection made sense.

It was real grief and real loss.

Jesus had told them this would happen.

And He told them why it would happen.

But they hadn’t understood. 

And then it was real.

They left their hearts in that tomb with His lifeless body.

And on the morning of that third day, no one came expecting that He would be exactly as He said He would be. No one came expecting to find Him alive. 

They came, specifically, to properly bury Him. To say goodbye. 

But they found an empty tomb instead.

That same stone that had seemed so final and so definitive just days prior had been rolled away.

And they heard these words from the angels: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but is risen!”

In an instant, all that emptiness transformed into joy.

Maybe for you, this is a season of watching the stone close over a tomb.

Maybe that’s been your whole life to this point.

You’ve lost hopes and dreams. You’ve been harmed in your relationships.

You’ve been shaken. The times keep growing darker all around you.

Everything you have built up in your heart over the years has been torn from top to bottom. 

Everything that you thought justified you, and everything that you thought made you a good person, has crumbled around you.

Maybe you’ve reached the point where you feel like there’s no hope left. That life has just stalled on you, or that your story is over.

It’s not.

That tomb stands open before you today.

Jesus went ahead of you – to redeem you and deliver you. To forgive you of your sin. To free you from the guilt that has bound you your entire life. 

You know it’s there. For each one of us, it’s there. 

He is calling to you today. You can be free from it eternally.

Take Jesus’ hand — step out of that tomb and follow Him with your life.

Even for those of us who have already been delivered, there come those times where we can’t possibly see the way through. Where every way out has darkened in front of us. 

Jesus is there for you in that place as well. He’s gone before you in that place and He will lead the way back out.

Regardless of what you think you see, know this: The stone has been rolled away.

You will not find the living there among the dead. 

He is not here but is risen. 

Place your faith in the Risen King Jesus Christ today. 

He gave His life for you. And now, He lives.

Joey Crandall is the pastor at Calvary Chapel Carson Valley.


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