Empty store shelves. An empty gas tank. Empty promises. An empty bank
The word “empty” carries negative connotations in the context of these situations. In other words, the emptiness is not exuding any warm and fuzzy feelings, but rather stirring adverse emotions like frustration, desperation, sadness, etc.
Sometimes though, empty presents opportunities that otherwise would not exist. For example, Jesus’s disciples even experienced the discomforts of empty when their knowledge and fishing skills resulted only in empty nets. Their best efforts were met with empty, until Jesus arrived on the scene. He told Peter to let down the net one more time. This time, the net did not return empty but rather overflowing with fish! Had the nets been filled earlier, Peter and Andrew would have missed an opportunity to witness a miracle.
As Easter approaches, believers are reminded of the monumental time when empty caused ongoing celebration and hope – The empty tomb! Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, the entire Christian faith would be irrelevant. But because the tomb is empty, we know we are serving a Living God! Because the tomb is empty, we know that one day we can have eternal life in Heaven. The empty tomb is an opportunity for anyone to believe and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The empty tomb created the opportunity to e
xperience the vast love of God and His Resurrection Power!
Now I know what you might be thinking…Empty chairs at gatherings sting. Leaving college empty-handed (without a degree to show for all the work) is disappointing. Empty words not backed by actions damage relationships. I will not disagree, but the least desirable, empty circumstance can still provide opportunity. These empty things can redirect hearts to the One who understands and is near to the broken-hearted.
To summarize this passage, while still fully God, Jesus willingly forfeited divine privileges to come to earth as a man. He did not use his equality with God to evade the troubles of humanity. Instead, he humbled himself to serve
others and submitted entirely to the Father’s will, even to death on a cross. In all of this, Jesus remained flawless yet experienced the emotions of a flawed world. This should be comforting to us when we are burdened by life’s empty situations; Jesus understands and He cares about your empty.
The above passage also provides an example for how Christians should live.Daily, we should strive to empty ourselves—choosing to follow God’s plan instead of ours. This is easier said than done, because empty can sound very unappealing .We innately crave success, promotion, fame, but certainly not empty! However, we are called to abandon selfish ambitions and vain conceit. We are called to serve humbly and point others to Christ. The paradox of emptying ourselves for these purposes is that we will experience the overflow of God’s love. From the overflow, we will have unique opportunities to further His ministry on earth.
Empty is not always opportune for us, but with God, opportunities exist.At Easter and always, let us rejoice over the empty tomb! Let us find comfort in the empty places of our lives, knowing that we have Living Hope. And may it become a sincere endeavor to empty ourselves for the cause of Christ- to not just receive the gospel but to be willing participants in it.
May you have a blessed Easter!