Empty grave or open door? It’s your call this Easter
Jesus is amazingly personal. The record shows He was a really relational guy. While also being God in the flesh, it’s His humanity that blows me away. It draws me near.
He touched the untouchable leper. He called the woman with the issue of blood – an outcast to her family because of her disease – daughter. He called Zacchaeus, a hated tax collector, by name and honored him publicly by going to his house for dinner.
Jesus knows the aches of our souls. He understands the very personal wounds we all bear and He meets us in those places.
One of the places Jesus likes to show up for you and me still today is the empty tomb.
Look at it. What do you see? Do you see just that – an empty tomb? Do you know in your heart Jesus is risen – kicked Satan in the teeth and now holds the keys to death and hell?
Or do you see the Open Door?
For years, I saw the empty tomb. I saw the overcoming victory that My God had risen from the dead and because of it, all who believed were saved from death and hell. But somewhere along the line I got a real revelation of something more – much, much more.
I got an apocalypse (unveiling) that the empty tomb was more than a symbol of victory. It was an invitation to more, greater, better. I like to call that “upgrade.”
While you and I really need to see the empty tomb as just that to be saved, it’s the Open Door that leads us into deeper relationship by experiencing God in our lives.
You know, one of the crazy cool things about Jesus that a lot of people miss is that after He resurrected from the dead, He never again used a door. Boom! He just appeared in a room. Bam! He walked through walls. Why? Because Jesus is the door!
Check out what Jesus says in John 10:9-10: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Right there He says it. Jesus says those who see Him as the door – who know Him as the door – have access to life and life more abundantly. Jesus Himself is the door to greater and greater experience of Him.
As the greatest, most giving, most loving person ever, don’t you want a deeper relationship with King Jesus? He does with you. He counts the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). He knows the number of tears you cry (Psalms 56:8). He knew you and named you before you were knit together in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5).
Best yet, He has a plan for your ultimate good or “expected end.” He says so in Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith the Lord, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
But here’s the catch. Just like it’s your choice to see either an empty tomb – which is lifesaving – or an open door – which is life-giving – it is also your choice whether you want to have an expected end with Jesus at all.
One of the most asked questions of our generation is, “If God is so good, why does he send people to hell?” Well, the answer to that is simple: Jesus doesn’t send anyone to hell. We choose it. It is our choice and ours alone. Nobody can choose for you. God gives us free will because that’s love.
God says that He is love (1 John 4:8), and if you look at the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, you’ll see that what I’m telling you is the truth.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
There it is. God does not demand His own way. He doesn’t demand our love or devotion. He asks for it. The story is very simple: God created man. Man rejected God. God will stop at nothing to win man’s heart back.
To save you from sure self destruction, Jesus will show up in your life – in those dark places where you’ve been hurt, abandoned, shamed or shunned. He knows you personally and invites you to know Him that same way.
So let me ask you again, what do you see? Just an empty tomb? Or do you see the Open Door?
I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name. – Revelation 3:8
Jesus is the door to experience real life. Walk through today.
Troy Brewer is the Senior Pastor of OpenDoor Church in Burleson, Texas. He is the author of 11 books. His daily radio show “Experiencing Real Life” is heard in nearly 60 markets across the U.S. and Belize. Find out more at TroyBrewer.com or watch live on Sundays at 9 &10:45 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. at OpenDoorExperience.com.