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The Joy of the Journey: Empty is Full

The Joy of the Journey

Empty is Full


The empty tomb is a powerful symbol that carries deep significance for people around the world who are Christ followers. It stands as a testament to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a central tenet of the Christian faith. But beyond its religious implications, the empty tomb holds a message that resonates with people of all backgrounds, the message that emptiness can give way to fullness, despair can turn into hope, and death can be transformed into life.  It is the resurrection of Jesus that sets following him apart from any other religious belief. If there was no resurrection, in Jesus was not who he claimed to be.

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The story of the empty tomb is central to the Christian faith, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and life over death.    The Bible declares, Jesus was crucified and buried in a tomb, but on the third day, the tomb was found empty, and Jesus had risen from the dead. This miraculous event is celebrated by Christ followers around the world as a symbol of hope and new beginnings.  This is echo in these verses from 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”


But the message of the empty tomb speaks to the human experience of facing emptiness, loss, and despair, and finding a way to overcome them. In our lives, we may encounter moments of emptiness – a sense of purposelessness, a lack of fulfillment, a feeling of loss or grief. These moments can be overwhelming and can leave us feeling hopeless and lost.


However, the empty tomb reminds us that emptiness is not the end of the story. Many of us look at our lives as empty times, a place where we have buried our hopes and dreams. A tomb of hurt and despair. A tomb of loneliness.  These moments of emptiness can be a give way to a new beginning, a fresh start, a full life. Emptiness does not have to be permanent – it can be a catalyst for growth, transformation, and renewal.  After Jesus was resurrected and left the tomb, life filled the apostles, and all those who follow Jesus.


In a world filled with challenges, uncertainties, and hardships, the message of the empty tomb offers us hope. It reminds us that even in the darkest moments, there is light at the end of the tunnel, that even in our lowest points, there is a way forward. The empty tomb invites us to embrace our emptiness as a steppingstone to a full life – a life filled with purpose, meaning, and joy.


Ultimately, the empty tomb is a reminder that even in our darkest moments, there is always the possibility of resurrection. It is a symbol of hope, of new beginnings, of second chances. It calls us to embrace our emptiness, to see it not as an end but as a beginning, and to walk boldly towards a full life – a life filled with love, joy, and purpose.


A few years back, I was privileged to visit Israel, and stand in what archaeologist believe is the tomb where Christ was laid to rest. I ended up for just a few moments being alone, evidently for security reasons, they decided that they needed to stop the flow of traffic in and out of the tomb.  I remember standing there alone, surrounded by the stone that had been carved out to make a place for a body. I remember asking the Lord, “is this where they put your body to rest? Immediately I felt the thought in my mind. No, this is where I got up!  The empty tomb is a powerful symbol that speaks to the human experience of facing emptiness and finding fullness. It invites us to embrace our moments of emptiness as opportunities for growth and renewal, and to believe in the possibility of a brighter future. I want you to take a few moments and stare at the empty tomb, but don’t take too long because it is after all empty. I have a full life because of the resurrection of our savior. We must gaze into the eyes of a living Jesus.  I am thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the blood He spilled, and the fact Jesus rose from the dead. Without those things we follow a fable, Jesus was and is the son of God!  Because of an empty tomb, we can have a full life!

Mitchell's Plumbing

Pastor Phil Minter began his ministry in 1989 as a freshman in college. He received his degree in theology and ministry in 1992. During his time in college and after graduation he traveled conducting revivals, youth camps, and conferences in many states and countries. He lived in Athens, Greece for a short time where he aided in the mission efforts throughout Europe. He returned to the United States where he continued to minister in the USA and Canada. In 1994 he would move back to Georgia and travel the state speaking at various events. Phil married Tina Flowers in 1996 where they began their pastoral ministry in Jesup, Georgia. In 1999 they moved to Trion, Georgia, where they presently pastor Harvest Worship Center. Pastor Phil has a lifetime commitment to Chattooga County and the surrounding areas. Pastor Phil still travels (although limited due to his pastoral commitments) to preach and teach; Revivals, Camps, and, Conferences. His heart is driven by the great commission of Matthew 28. Reaching souls for Christ is and will remain his primary focus!

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