When I speak at church on Easter Sunday morning I begin the service by offering the children the best Easter egg they had ever seen. Each one received the plastic egg with the instructions not to open it until the end of the service. They held on to them with the assurance that what was inside was going to be great. At the end of the service each one would open their egg and find them empty. They would ask me “what is so great about an empty egg?” I would then help them to understand the meaning of empty.
In racing empty has its own meaning, it means nothing. When you go out and race and come up empty it means you didn’t win anything. When you hear the word you think that something is wrong or missing. That is not the same with Christ, empty means hope and salvation.
Let’s explore that a little. A few things had to happen to make Easter possible. First Jesus had to come to Earth in the form of a man. Scripture puts it this way;
Philippians 2:6-8 (Jesus) who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. NASB
Before Jesus could come to Earth he had to set some of His attributes of being God aside. He had to empty himself out. Think of it like going to prison. I hope none of you have experienced this, but if you have you know what I am speaking of. You have to remove everything and surrender everything to the police. They give you new clothes to wear and hold on to your personal belongings until you are set free again.
It was the same for Jesus, He imprisoned Himself in the form of a human and set aside His Godliness for our sake. He became a slave for us. He didn’t demand his rights as the Son of God, He set those rights aside so that we could be free. He emptied himself.
When was the last time we emptied ourselves for someone else? Do we know what that means? When was the last time it didn’t matter what we wanted but it mattered what someone else needed more? When was the last time we let something go and didn’t demand our rights or to be treated fairly?
We all can relate to these times. They are the times when we think more of ourselves than we should. They are the times when we think we are something special and others should honor us. I think there are some adjectives that describe it, we become full of ourselves.
Do you know why some drivers are so well liked? They are appreciative of the chance they have been given. They don’t think they deserved it but are glad to have the opportunity. They are willing to do whatever it takes to honor those who gave it to them. We like that about them.
Jesus emptied himself out so that we would have the opportunity to be free from the bondage of sin. How free are you today? Do you have freedom in Christ? He made it available for you.
To come to Earth Jesus had to empty Himself, to return to heaven He had to empty the tomb. Do you know what separates Christianity from every other religion? An empty tomb. Other religions point to a founder whose grave and remains can be located and identified. We know where Christ was laid to rest but the place is still empty. He is Alive. He has Victory over death. He offers the same to us.
Death could not hold Christ and it should not hold us. One of our biggest fears in life is dying. We know the odds, 100% of us will die. Why then, if it is a forgone conclusion, does it make us so fearful? Because it is the end of our life on Earth and we have a fear of the unknown. We fear what we don’t know and try desperately to hold onto what we do know regardless of whether it is the best for us.
Christ went to the grave and overcame death so that our fear could be removed. He put it this way;
John 14:1-4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”NASB
Jesus prepares a place for us beyond death. A place that is better than the one we know. A place in heaven. Think of it this way, God created everything we have here; all we have done is to spoil it, how much better will heaven be because it is unspoiled. I can’t wait. There is work to be done before we get there though.
Do you remember the children holding the eggs? Now open them and what do you find? They are empty, but yet they are full. They are full of life, full of hope, full of peace and full of love. In their emptiness we find everything we need to know about God. Jesus emptied Himself for you and me. He conquered death for you and me. He is waiting for our response.
How will we respond this Easter? Will we empty ourselves in service to others? Will we accept the offer Christ makes to fill ourselves with His Spirit? Will we be the ones to go and bring the message of the empty tomb to others; the message of Hope, Peace, Love and Life? Christ emptied Himself for us, now we need to empty ourselves for Him.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.