One of Garry’s pet hates is coming to a tin of chocolates expecting to find chocolates and only finding empty wrappers in the tin… The sense of disappointment and anticlimax is intense when that happens!
In Mark 15:42-46, we read of the burial of Jesus, how Joseph of Arimathea (a prominent Jew) went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body and took it to his family tomb, wrapping the body in linen. Later, the women who first witnessed the resurrection of Jesus told the apostles of this great news, but the apostles did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. (Luke 24:9-11) Simon Peter and John went to investigate these claims of an empty tomb for themselves. There, they saw the strips of linen lying there as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. (John 20:6-7) In effect, they saw an empty wrapper!
John believed when he saw this, but Peter still didn’t understand the significance of what he had seen. In fact, there were a variety of responses to the news of the resurrection of Jesus, ranging from belief to puzzlement to unbelief (Thomas’s ‘I will not believe‘ in John 20:25) Even today, the resurrection elicits a variety of responses. Some dismiss it out of hand, saying it’s impossible. Others produce rational explanations (they went to the wrong tomb or perhaps Jesus was not really dead), but it is highly unlikely that Jesus was not dead, since he suffered flogging and crucifixion, and the sign of blood and water flowing out from the spear wound (a medical fact due to circulatory shock and heart failure).Others may talk of a stolen body (rather like Garry’s stolen chocolates!), but the consistency of the apostles’ testimony and lifestyles after the resurrection belie this theory.
If the resurrection is true, then it is a truth which has the power to change lives and we need to share this truth. The empty wrappers found in the tomb are not a disappointment, but unveil an incredible revelation that Jesus is alive and reigns on high! Let’s take this truth and share it with all we know.