THEME: The Tomb is Empty

BY: Fr. Justus

(a) Jesus died and descended in to hell and stayed in the tomb for 3 days. What was He actually doing there? It was a 3 days fight, the cross was His weapon. With it He conquered the devil, darkness, sin and death and began to wake up all those in the Tomb, long in the sleep of death. The first to be waken was Adam. Life and joy was communicated to the dead. (According to an Ancient Homily on the Holy Saturday, Adam at the sight of Jesus greeted his offspring in joy, saying; “the Lord be with you” and Jesus Christ replied him, “and with your spirit”)


(b) Having waken them all up, he began to undo and unbind the chains of sin and death binding them. It was like the picture of the demoniac chained hand and foot in the grave (Mark 5:4). The freedom from the chains of the grave was like the case of “Lazarus wrapped with the grave cloths from head to toe and Jesus commanded, “unbind this man and let him go”. (John 11:44). Thus Jesus was freeing those long held in the captivity of death. Jesus Christ, the first Fruit that rose from the death, taking the lead, led all out from the tomb, just as Moses led all the Israelites out of Egypt. It is like the picture of Ezekiel 37:12, “I am going to open your tombs my people and lead you out of the graves and bring you back to your own soil” and the grave were left empty. All the faithful and the Living in God have left the tomb with Christ, having died with Him in Baptism and as written “on the third day, He will raise us up that we might live His presence” (Hosea 6:3). Therefore the women came and met the tomb empty (Mark 16:6). The empty tomb is one of the evidences of the resurrection of Christ, that is, that the same body laid in the tomb rose from the dead. The empty tomb can awaken Faith. As it is written; “the other disciple, meeting the tomb empty “saw and believed” (John 20:8). And “If Christ has not been raised, our faith is futile and we are still in our sins and slavery” (1 Cor. 15:17). The Soldiers on guard with their weapons could not stop Him. The stone at the mouth of the grave felt the power of the resurrection. Coming out of the Tomb one could once more hear Jesus saying; “I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).

(c) Jesus Christ fulfilled the promise; “I will not let my faithful suffer decay in the tomb” (Psalm 16:10). The life of sin is the life slavery, burden, tomb and decay. Seek not life in the tomb for there is no life in the Tomb. Remain not behind in the tomb, in a habitual sin. May no sin hold you back with its chains in the tomb! We are called to join the entourage led out of Egypt by Moses and the faithful led out of the tomb (darkness) by Jesus into the light of Easter morning. The (passover), the movement out of sin is Easter. Easter is the culmination and fulcrum of creation, it is “that glorious morning”. It is the end of the sequence and journey of creation; “evening come, morning come, the next day” which at the end of time will be the resurrection morning – the Easter morning. Thus, the recreation is a journey from the Tomb of darkness towards Easter morning. The Resurrection morning (Easter) will at the end of time leave every Tomb completely empty. May Jesus Christ awaken all gifts, powers and virtues long asleep in us an in the tomb. May we feel the power of His resurrection (Phil.3:10).



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