Comfort from the Empty Tomb
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Watch Comfort from the Empty Tomb video.
Scripture: Matthew 28:1-8
I. Introduction: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important event of the Christian faith. It is an historical fact—one with profound implications for your life and mine. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we can find healing from our past, experience power in our daily lives, and rejoice in the promise of heaven.
II. Let’s look at five messages of comfort from the empty tomb.
A. First, Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and is alive. He sits at the Father’s right hand and intercedes on our behalf (Heb. 7:25). Because Jesus rose from the dead, we can rest assured that He knows our struggles and will supply all we need.
B. Second, there is life after death.
1. Because of Christ’s resurrection, we know there is a world beyond the grave. That hope gives us significance. We are all accountable to the Lord for how we spend our time (Heb. 9:27). And everyone has the ability to influence others and impact them for eternity—not just for a limited time in the world.
2. Your life on earth is like a grain of sand in comparison with living forever with God. Are you using this life to prepare for the next one? The Father has blessed you so you can devote yourself to others. His purpose is for you to make a difference in someone else’s life.
C. Third, Christ’s atoning sacrifice for our sins was accepted.
1. Before we received God’s gift of salvation, our sinfulness separated us from Him. Through the crucifixion, Jesus took our punishment so that the Father could forgive our sin, justify us, and declare that we are no longer guilty (1 Peter 2:24). God reconciled us to Himself, so we can love and enjoy Him for all eternity (2 Cor. 5:18-21).
2. The empty tomb gives us confidence that we have peace with God. You see, Jesus predicted His death and resurrection. The empty tomb confirms that the Father has accepted Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and restored us to right relationship with Him.
D. Every believer will experience a bodily resurrection.
1. Jesus rose from the grave with a glorified physical body. When the disciples thought He was a spirit, He told them to feel the scars on His hands, feet, and side (Luke 24:39). Our Lord also ate with them on two occasions, proving He had a physical body.
2. Christ’s resurrection is a foretaste of what we will experience one day (1 Cor. 15:20). Our bodies will be renewed and perfectly fit for eternal life. We will need a physical body in eternity—we won’t merely be spirits.
3. Just as a farmer plants a seed and expects a harvest in due time, our bodies won’t be forgotten in the grave. God will raise them up in absolute perfection one day. We will be faultless in every way, as Jesus is (1 John 3:2).
E. We do not have to fear death.
1. Most people are afraid of dying. Why? Death is an unknown, and their sin and rebellion against God make them unsure of what to expect. But believers will have the confidence to stand before Him—not because of their good deeds, but because of His gift of salvation. Jesus is preparing a home in heaven for those who place their trust in Him (John 14:2-3).
2. What must you do to see heaven—the kingdom of God? You must be born again (John 3:3), believe in Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross (John 3:16), and accept Him personally as your Savior. If you do this, Scripture promises your sins will be forgiven (Rom. 10:9-10).
VI. Conclusion: If Jesus Christ didn’t rise from the dead, our faith is in vain. We may as well live like the rest of the world—without direction, hope, or purpose. But our Savior triumphed over the grave and has gone to prepare a home in heaven for us. Because of the resurrection, you and I can have confidence that all Jesus promised will come to pass. This Easter, rejoice in the awesome significance of the empty tomb.