People have often missed the point of Easter:


For the Christian, the skeptic and the prodigal looking to come home, we hope to answer these questions:

Why does the empty tomb matter?

How can I historically have confidence that there was an empty tomb?

What does the empty tomb mean about Christ?

What does the empty tomb mean for me?

Why does the empty tomb matter?

*The resurrection matters because Jesus came to reconcile us to God, redeeming our sin scorched and broken lives.

Putting God: F.I.R.S.T. takes:






1 Peter 5:1-14 
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,  not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;  not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:17-20 
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

How can I historically have confidence that there was an empty tomb?


Mark 15:42-47 
And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

Mark 16:1-8 
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back— it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Taken from article written on the evidence for the empty tomb (

  1. The Jerusalem Factor

  2. All Four Gospels Feature Women As Witnesses To The Empty Tomb 

  3. The Enemies Of Christianity Presupposed The Vacancy Of The Tomb When They Said That The Disciples Stole The Body

  4. The Empty Tomb Is Multiply Attested

  5. Mark’s Account Is Simple And Lacks Signs Of Embellishment

  6. Multiple Literary Forms 

  7. The Reason The Women Went To The Tomb – Historical Fit/Coherence

  8. Archeological Evidence Presents An Edict That Makes The Most Sense In Light Of Jesus’ Tomb Being Empty 

  9. Jesus’ Tomb Was Never Venerated As A Shrine 

“In Palestine during the days of Jesus, at least fifty tombs of prophets or other holy persons served as sites of religious worship and veneration. However, there is no good evidence that such a practice was ever associated with Jesus’ tomb. Since this was customary, and since Jesus was a fitting object of veneration, why were such religious activities not conducted at his tomb? The most reasonable answer must be that Jesus’ body was not in his tomb, and thus the tomb was not regarded as an appropriate site for such veneration. . . . It seems, then, the lack of veneration at the tomb of Jesus is powerful evidence that the tomb was empty.”  - Philosopher and Apologist J.P. Moreland 

I was thinking of the resurrection in light of the recent Mueller reports investigating alleged collusion with the president and Russia during our latest presidential elections.  It brought me naturally to an even earlier time of confirmed scandal in our country with Richard Nixon and Watergate.  One of the men involved was a man named Charles Colson, who after his conviction and imprisonment, became a Christian.  Here is what he had to say about the resurrection. 

“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”

Charles Colson

What does the empty tomb mean about Christ?

John 1:1-5, 14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Romans 1:1-6 
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David  according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

We can be hesitate and prolong responding to Jesus fully because we are afraid of what acknowledging his reality in our lives would mean. 

What does the empty tomb mean for me?

For the Christian:

God can resurrect things that seem dead when we’re attempting to follow him faithfully. 

For the skeptic:

It means there’s a judgment to come when I will give an account of my life to a holy, righteous God.  It means my sin has earned death and condemnation for me but that Jesus paid a substitutionary price for me on the cross.  It means because Jesus was innocent and sinsless, death couldn’t hold him down.  It means there is life after the grave and Jesus calls me to an eternal peace in him.  It means that he offers me forgiveness that covers over all of my wrongs as I repent of my sin and put my trust in Him.  It means that Jesus calls me to healing can begin now and power to begin a new life today because of his resurrection from the dead.  

For the prodigal:

Jesus has came to deliver me and set my life back on course.  It means that he can restore broken lives, resurrect dead relationships and provide a purpose and a future to those who were once hopeless. It means the devil is defeated and you have one who can tame the roaring lion who looks to tear to your family, your finances, your mental health, your body and your soul apart.  It means that though up to this point so many things seemed to have fallen apart, there is a God who gives life to the dead because he is the resurrection and the life!!

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

In conclusion: 

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ best explains the empty tomb which was known, could be located, was well guarded by Roman soldiers yet at the end of the day, was missing its most important contents.  

The empty tomb also best explains God’s intention for your life - to leave the death, sin, endless life altering mistakes and bitterness behind at the tomb.  It is to choose Christ and allow him to forgive you, heal you and set you on a new course because of the price he paid for your sins on the cross.  It is to allow him within his church to take off the grave clothes (John 11 + 12) and allow you to live a resurrected and redeemed life through your faith in the Son of God.  Let him be your Lord and Savior today and come into his resurrection life!

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Second City Church - Resurrection - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019