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Encounters: At the Empty Tomb

One year, I went back and counted the number of adult services I had attended.

6.

That’s it. Some of you reading this right now are gasping because 6 is pretty low. Others are reading this right now and are a little jealous because 6 is how many services you’ve been to in 6 years. No matter how many services I attended, Easter was always one of them. Somehow on Easter weekend, our children’s ministry team worked it out so every team member was able to worship with the adults.

I don’t know if you are able to attend a worship service this weekend. But I pray you consider this fact: There was a tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. And it’s empty.

I don’t think about this enough. The angels put it this way in Luke 24:5, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”

Please tell me you come from a church tradition where the pastor says, “He is Risen!” and the congregation replies, “He is Risen Indeed.” Yes Christ is risen, risen from death. The tomb, which served as a memorial to the life Jesus lived, his death, and in the eyes of his followers – another place where the promise of God for salvation was yet to be fulfilled; lay empty.

And out of such emptiness we find fullness. Our hearts filled with worship. Our souls filled with hope.

Friends, thanks for spending the Lent season on this journey with us here at INCM. We have loved leading you through these encounters. I want to close with the words of this blessed hymn (another memory from my childhood church tradition).

Crown him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon his throne;
Hark, how the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.

Crown him the Son of God,
Before the worlds began,
And ye who tread where he hath trod,
Crown him the Son of man;
Who ev’ry grief hath known
That wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for his own,
That all in him may rest.

Crown him the Lord of life,
Who triumphed o’er the grave
And rose victorious in the strife
For those he came to save;
His glories now we sing,
Who died and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring,
And lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of Heav’n
Enthroned in worlds above,
Crown him the King to whom is giv’n
The wondrous name of love.
Crown him with many crowns,
As thrones before him fall;
Crown him, ye kings, with many crowns,
For he is King of all.
Amen.

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