We live in a culture that is constantly telling us to fill our lives with things of this world. We need to have our desires filled, our closets filled, our phones filled with music, photos, etc. I want to declare that the true joy of this life is not in knowing what was filled but in what is empty. Let me explain.
1. There is joy in an empty cross. Jesus is not still hanging on the cross today. He is not still having to pay the price for our sins. He cried out simply 'it is finished!' Which means his work was completed. As Hebrews said he paid the price "once and for all". What does this tell me? I can have joy in knowing that truly the price that Jesus paid for my sins covered all my sins in that one act. He did the work on my behalf. And when I consider this work for my sins and the blood that was shed one time where I cannot add a sacrifice to the work but rather it was completed, oh the joy that fills my heart! Friends when you look at an empty cross stop and reflect on the fact that Jesus paid the price for our sins one time and this was enough!
2. There is joy in an empty tomb. You see an empty cross points us to the next stop in our journey which is the tomb. There have been many people to die and you can go and see where their body remains. There have been times when even the matter in which someone died was questioned again and by court order their bodies could be dug up and reexamined. But friends Jesus died with a promise, destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days". No court order will ever work here. He is risen! He is not hidden, He is risen! He conquered the penalty of our sins, death (Romans 6:23) he gave us life and hope through his resurrection (John 14, 1 Corinthians 15) and we can look to an empty cross and an empty tomb and rejoice in trusting in Him!
3. There is joy in an empty wedding. Ok ok stay with me here. You see from the empty tomb comes the promise of His return. When Jesus returns do you know what he is coming for? His bride. Yes friends there have been many brothers and sisters in Christ to enter their rest in heaven before us, but there is coming a day when the whole church shall be as one in His presence and He will be glorified as the groom He is. Friends we are waiting for that glorious day! We are patient and persevering for that day! What a day that will be when the wedding feast will be full!
4. There is joy in an emptied self. You see when we reflect on the work of Christ (on our behalf) and the resurrection (to give us hope) and the promise of His return (to bring us home). We see there is nothing we can provide other than our surrender and service to our great King. To do this we must empty ourselves of ourselves (thinking we can save or resurrect ourselves) and we allow Jesus to fill us with the joy of His presence (the Holy Spirit)! Friends that is why I can declare to you there is great joy in being empty!
What are you looking to see filled today?
A cross: He's not there
A tomb: He's not there
A feast: Not yet
Yourself: apart from Jesus you are empty.
Trust Him and know there is true joy as we reflect on the emptiness (good emptiness) of Easter!!