Resurrection Sunday-The Joy of Being Emptied
April 1, 2024, 4:48 PM

Last week we talked about expectations. Unfortunately, we try and fit Jesus into our box of likes and don’t likes. The way we talk or the things we do. Jesus understands – Right?

Yet when we wave those palms around screaming Hosanna, blessed is HE… We are proclaiming Him as Lord, not each of us. The scriptures foretold Jesus’ coming so when He arrived exactly how God said, what did they expect?

Knowing He suffered, the way he suffered allows us to know the depth of our sin and the depths of His love.

We talked about longings fulfilled last week as a word picture. Some of the things we want from Jesus aren’t possible from a Holy God, so we turn to the world. They prove empty as well.

I’m sure some of you remember Ralph Cramden- bus driver – good guy with a big heart. He always thought there was any easier way. He would dream up the zaniest schemes that just fell flat, it’s a TV show and they were made to poke fun at us. Maybe to realize there’s no glory w/o suffering the bigger part of that was his accomplice- Norton.

Obviously, Ralph never read the Proverbs about trusting a fool or being one!

Think about these things as you place yourself amidst the happenings a little over 2000 years ago. They are your takeaways today.

When we empty ourselves of the world, we give the Holy Spirit plenty of room to work.

When we’re full of the world the Holy Spirit patiently waits.

The joy of being empty is to be full of God’s Holy Spirit!

He’s the One the space was made for from the beginning.

On Palm Sunday there was no need to talk about the upcoming week. We encouraged everyone to attend the services during the week to remind ourselves of what was reported. ALL in the name of love.

As the week progressed Jesus’ passion was revealed. Last Sunday, we didn't get a chance to talk about what they saw on the way to the cross or on the cross. We talked about the joy and hope of the coronation. Then came the cool down.

If we think about that, it would be hard to imagine anyone seeing that kind of trauma. No doubt some people know the grief associated with that kind of loss and the yearning that comes with it.

Not to minimize anyone’s loss but imagine the shock of what they saw in a 24-hour period. The last time they saw Jesus he was healthy and ready to do kingdom work! The week prior he was being exalted as king, just as scripture reports. The whole world was coming after him. They thought this was a statement about being the king.

Cheers of blessing! A vibrant Jesus, their world was being stirred by his teaching. Finally, things are in motion, at least in their mind. Though Jesus knew exactly what was going on and the pain they and He would soon feel.

I imagine the word raced on about His arrest. Possibly undisclosed was his being beaten and mocked, illegally tried, convicted and sentenced. But the buzz now … what was absolutely unthinkable was what they were about to see coming through the city streets as they led Jesus to the cross. Not to mention the cross itself. Jesus wasn’t meant to carry the cross, that was ours to carry.

It's not a pleasant display to speak of Easter Sunday - But I think Easter Sunday wouldn't be as joyous if it were emptied of Good Friday. As Fridays go it was only good because of Resurrection Sunday.  

The brutality of his passion was on display by the hands of what evil thought was the end. Here's a reminder it's not personal it's spiritual.

The men that brutalized the king of glory only showed the long-term effects of a world broken by sin.

If we don't take God's offering of the Son, we align ourselves first with the arrogance of the same bunch but then the punishment evil inflicts however disguising it with power and authority. That is a stone empty promise and there's no joy in that.

Sadly, their vitriol was expressed on the only one who could relieve it.

The resolve of the women was their nature of nurture.

What they couldn't stop or change they could at least gather and present as decent. They were on their way to the tomb expecting one thing, realizing they were full of grief and shock they still we're trying to get themselves together.

They thought about the stone and who would move it. Take notice that there was no mention of asking the men to come help.

An empty worry, God took care of it - the stone was rolled away.

They braced themselves with caring for Jesus's body – another empty concern, God took care of that too.

Entering the tomb seeing the man in white startled them - again they were emptied. Whatever expectations they had were now gone, their “might possibly” or “suddenly” went from slim chance to fat chance - then no chance.

The man acknowledges their mission – You seek Jesus who was crucified but he is risen! He is not here, see where they laid him empty - the rags empty - the vault empty - his recommendation; go tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee.

There in an empty tomb, were empty hearts and stomachs. Yet suddenly became full with hope. This can't be an empty promise - can it - they were nervous, anxious, excited, Mark said they were fearful and joyful.

The expectance of preparing Jesus’ broken body - was now filled with hope and seeing him whole! They'd seen enough to know it was possible. Now the joy of being empty was starting to be realized.

He said “go tell his brothers and peter too. Now they might have a chance again - but fat chance, slim chance, and no chance was out of the way.

For them to hear Peter included was at the heart of Jesus mission. Those are words they could get behind, as a matter of fact all those other chances gave way to a second chance and that is the joy of being emptied.

What Jesus does with Peter is personal and spiritual. I can only imagine what the disciples thought of Peter’s first pronouncing then denouncing knowing Jesus. This is supposed to be their leader!

Well, Jesus had a score to settle and it wasn't with Peter but between Peter and his brothers. But moreover, between Peter and the evil that caused enough fear to deny Jesus.

As empty as Peter was, it was just the empty he needed to realize Jesus isn't just his second chance He's Peter’s only chance. That is the message for today for every one of us.

There are no theological lessons today, there's only one bit of encouragement.

Instead of hoping against hope that your plans might work - as they digress from maybe slim to fat to then no chance, OR even if your life is absolutely perfect and firing on all cylinders, understand that Jesus stands by waiting for your permission to be the Lord of your life.

Empty yourself of worries, control or outcomes - our concern is to be obedient. “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all the rest will be added unto you.” God is responsible for the outcomes.

Do you consider it an honor to choose surrender?

In whatever class of surrender that applies – last word – holding a grudge – asking or receiving forgiveness, out do your neighbor or family – pride vs confession, being honest.

Empty yourself of the world, we are temples of the Holy Spirit, our bodies are not our own we were bought at a price. A price we tallied but could not pay. We think we can walk the check, but that’s impossible. You will have to pay it… unless you trust Jesus with your life.

Jesus paid it all your account is clear. That's the joy of being emptied

When we empty ourselves of the world, we give the Holy Spirit plenty of room to work.

When we’re full of the world, the Holy Spirit patiently waits. Don’t wait too long.

The tomb was empty so we don’t have to wait.

The joy of being emptied is to be full of God’s Holy Spirit!

He’s the One the space was made for from the beginning.

Post a Comment