Holy Week: Resurrection Sunday – The Empty Tomb

“But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.'” – Matt. 28:5-6

Today’s events in history are the linchpin of the Christian Faith. Everything hinges on this day.

The women (women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Salome, and Mary the mother of James) go to the tomb of Jesus only to find it empty.

Jesus appears to the first of over 500 people that He would visit before His ascension.

Without the Resurrection, we have nothing: it’s not the tomb that is empty, it would be our faith that is EMPTY!

“And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.  For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the mostpitiable.” –  1 Cor. 15:14-19

Sunday’s events are recorded in Matthew 28:1-13, Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-49, and John 20:1-23.

A Man Named Philip

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There was a man named Philip… not the Apostle Philip, but another Philip,… who treated an audience of thousands and an audience of one with the same zeal. A man who did not discriminate between race and class. A man who was miraculously transported across the land. He was a man who, no doubt, inspired countless missionaries with his wisdom and compassion.

Let’s take a second and remember Philip.

In Acts 6, the early church has just gotten started. Now, you would assume that it was perfect, right? However, it had problems just like today’s churches do. The conflict in this instance was that certain widows were being overlooked with the food distribution.

So they appointed seven men to handle the food. The qualifications for these deacons were: they had to be full of the Spirit and full of wisdom. Philip was one of the seven chosen. Therefore, we know that Philip was respected as being full of the Spirit and wisdom.

The next time Philip is mentioned is in Acts 8:5-40.

Here is where it gets really interesting!

The early leaders were commissioned with spreading the Gospel outside of Jerusalem. Philip is spreading it in Samaria. Why is that significant? Well, the Jewish people held the Samaritans as “half-breeds” and therefore hated them. Philip’s example demonstrates that the Good News is for everyone, regardless of class or color. Hatred, bigotry, and ignorance have no place in spreading the Good News of our Savior!

Now, skip down to verse 26.

Philip is approached by an angel and told to go to Ethiopia. On that road he runs into an Ethiopian eunuch who is reading the Book of Isaiah. The eunuch was having a hard time deciphering it. Starting there, Philip begins preaching the about Jesus.

Philip baptizes him and is “taken away.” He then “appears” many miles away. Did he fly? Was he teleported? Who knows, but anything is possible! There’s nothing that the Spirit of the Lord cannot accomplish!

So what can we glean from the life of Philip? What can’t we?!

• He was full of the Spirit and wisdom.

• He did not discriminate who could and could not hear the Gospel.

• He also could share his witness with a whole nation or a single person because both are equally important.

What a great example. Take some time to meditate on Philip and his admirable characteristics. How can you apply these to your walk?

God bless!