• Richard Parrish

HOPE Is Found In An Empty Tomb



“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’”[1]

Easter morning was shattered by suicidal bombs!


Inspired by a radical religious Islamic group, over 300 Christian worshipers and innocent hotel guests lost their lives because of hate-fueled acts of violence on Easter, 2019.


What began as a day of celebration for many, ended in heart-wrenching emptiness because hate appeared to triumph over life.


And so it was with Jesus.


Hate — for the moment — appeared to conquer love. The brutality of religious folk who insisted upon the death of the One who offered life had left so many people with a sense of emptiness. “What now?” “Our HOPE was in this man called Jesus, and now they have crucified him.”


You do not get through life without experiencing moments of “emptiness,” that place where you encounter loss. Emptiness is realized when despair displaces hope.


We’ve all experienced loss. We’re familiar with what it’s like to be empty: A broken relationship, an empty checking account, a devastating medical report, a season of despair that leaves us drained — EMPTY.


Mary Magdalene understood the enormity of emptiness. It wasn’t just the tomb of Jesus that was empty. Her heart’s void was huge.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher).[2]”

It wasn’t a gardener who called Mary by name. It was the resurrected Christ who entered her emptiness and replaced her loss with HOPE!


The central event of the Christian faith — the resurrection of Jesus — reminds us: HOPE is discovered in an empty tomb!


As tragic and atrocious as evil is, as tumultuous as our world appears, or as excruciating as our emptiness feels: God’s resurrection power penetrates emptiness with HOPE found in the empty tomb of Jesus.


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Jn 20:1–2.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Jn 20:15–16.