(WARNING: Warren has his “Pastor” hat on today!)
As many of you know I was a pastor for 15 years. I taught, counseled, married, buried, baptized, prayed, encouraged, and helped people who were far from God draw closer to him. I loved my job and at times really miss it. From time to time I would be asked, “Do you really believe in all this God stuff?” I was never offended by the question because let’s be honest, I have never seen God with my eyes, I have never heard his audible voice, and frankly some of the stories you read about in the Bible are hard to understand and believe. So when I am asked that question I often give them a very short answer, “The tomb was empty!” Three days after being brutally tortured and killed, Jesus came alive just as he promised he would. It is a historical fact that changed the world. History was split in two. Every time we write a date on a letter or a check, we use the resurrection of Jesus as a focal point. Not only did it change the world, but it also changed my life as well.
You see if Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead, then everything I have believed and taught for the past four decades is a lie and a farce. The Apostle Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:
And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
So do I really believe in all this God stuff? Yes I do! The tomb was empty.
One of the reasons I love Easter so much is that it reminds me that I can count on and believe in the things Jesus taught and modeled though his brief 33 years of life. If he predicted his death and that he would rise three days later, then I have confidence to believe and trust in his other teachings. When it says Jesus came to love and not condemn, I believe it! When he says my sins can be forgiven, I believe it. When he says nothing will ever make him stop loving me, I believe it. When he says I understand when you feel abandoned and alone and rejected because I walked this earth as a human being, I believe it. When he says there is life beyond this world that we live on that is devoid of all tears and brokenness, I believe it.
Personally, Easter is a reminder for me that I will see David, my mom and dad, my nephew Matt, and many others once again. For you see, the tomb was empty!
Have you see the movie that just came out, The Case for Christ? It is based on the true story of an investigative reporter who set out to disprove his wife’s beliefs and rescue her from the cult of Christianity. In the process he discovered that the tomb really was empty. Go check it out! You can watch the trailer here: