The cross has become the primary symbol of Christianity. Christ was nailed to a cross and died there. He suffered terrific agony during those hours. In that agony He became the perfect sacrifice for us. Pay special attention to the word perfect. He took upon Himself all our sins as well as every sin any of us will ever commit and thereby made eternal salvation available to all who realize and accept it. The cross reminds us of those things and it reminds us that that was the end of His ministry and teaching here on Earth.
However, another symbol we need to keep in front of us is that of the open tomb. Christ’s body was buried in a borrowed tomb and three days later that body rose from the dead. The open, empty tomb reminds us of His resurrection. I think we spend far too little time meditating on that and what it means. The cross was, of course, necessary for the tomb to exist at all. However, without His resurrection His teachings and His sacrificial death would have descended into the obscurity of a museum collection somewhere out of the public view. Most of us would never have heard of Jesus if He had not risen from the dead. Christianity would have been still-born and there would be no salvation.
In Revelation 21:5 God says, “… I make all things new …”. Again, The word all means just that – everything. Just before that verse (Rev 21:1) John reported that he, “… saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth had been wiped away …”. That has not yet happened, but it will. When it does happen there will never again be death or sorrow or crying or pain. The implication is that not only will the world as we know it be made of new stuff, but even our physical bodies will be made of new material. A new substance that will last forever and no longer be subject to the effects of aging, injury or decay. Assuming atoms actually exist at that time, everything will be made of fresh, new ones – far better than the used, recycled, run-down atoms we have now.
In view of that, I would submit that the body of the risen Christ may have been made of that new substance. Such new material might interact in slightly different ways with the material of our present world. Those differences might account for Mary not immediately recognizing Christ in the garden after His resurrection. Those same differences might also account for the men not immediately recognizing Him on the road to Emmaus. They might also account for His appearances in a room with a locked door.
A new world and a new body free from death or sorrow or crying or pain are wonderful things offered to followers of Christ. The open, empty tomb signifies that offering and means His followers have no need to fear anything – even death.
Does that sound good to you?
See 2 Timothy 1:7
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