There is no one there. There is nothing there but a burial shroud rolled up in a corner. It is the one thing most everyone agrees on – the body of Jesus was gone. The tomb was empty. Some see a conspiracy, that his corpse was taken and hid, for whatever purpose is unclear. Others claim to have seen him in various places, fully alive. Some claimed to have talked with him in person. Some even swore they shared a meal with him. But by the end of that first Easter day, all that anyone knew was that the tomb was empty and the only questioned that mattered was, “What does it mean?”
Like the apostles that first Easter morning, each day as we look at the events and occurrences in our world and our lives, we might see an empty tomb and ask, “Where have they taken my Lord?” And each day we are called to decide, “What does it mean?” How we answer that question depends on the Jesus’ empty tomb.
It’s an easy inclination to let go of the tomb and to rush head strong into meeting the risen Lord with Mary in the garden or on the road to Emmaus. But stay just a few moments longer at the empty tomb. Linger inside the tomb to see if in the radiant emptiness there might be a clue or even an answer. Perhaps there we can finally surrender to God and empty ourselves of our fears, insecurities, bitterness, and doubts. Perhaps there in the Easter morning dawn we can recognize that all of our silly attempts to fill our lives with all manner of things was of no use to us. Perhaps there in the silent peacefulness, in the liminal space of the empty tomb, we will understand that “empty” is the only space that is vulnerable enough to be filled with God’s love and grace.
Then we can be ready to answer the question, “What does it mean?”
It means He has risen. Alleluia!