Fellowship at the Ranch – April 2015

Jim Wilkins

The implications of an empty tomb from a human perspective are always based in the individual person’s perception of reality. The implications of the same event from a divine perspective are always based in what is real. Do you see the difference?

The Roman soldiers that guarded the tomb were in fear for their own lives, since they had been tasked with holding fast this burial site. The reality they faced was serious consequences for not performing their duty. Previously the Jewish authorities, fearing something far greater, were successful in convincing Pilate beforehand to guard the tomb. Now in order to shape the narrative to fit their perception of reality, they promote the story that the disciples overpowered the soldiers, opened the tomb and stole the body. Perhaps most significant is Pilate’s own perception of reality. Imagine the conversation Pilate had with Jesus and try to perceive Pilate’s own thoughts as Jesus explains, “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate only voices what many people in today’s world still perceive, “What is truth?”

Is truth based on my own perception of reality? Is what’s true for you also true for me? What makes your version of the truth more true than my version of the truth? Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

Upon hearing the news that the tomb was empty, what particular version of terror do you suppose struck the heart and mind of Pilate? Ravi Zacharias has said, “When evil justifies itself by posturing as morality, God becomes the devil and the devil, God… (and) that exchange makes one impervious to reason.”

The silence of Jesus from that point forward with Pilate was on purpose; it was a lesson. Answers are not always the way to reason. This is because not everyone wants to be reasonable, in fact the opposite seems more the norm today. The more I speak about absolute truth, the more I’m judged as too narrow, dogmatic and conservative. Seemingly reasonable people want only to remain deluded by their own perception of reality rather than facing the truth. In the now famous words of Joe Friday, allow me to point out just the facts. Consider for yourself through you own perception the reality of historically substantiated facts. Here it is: the tomb was empty, and the wrappings used to bury Jesus were left behind, neatly folded.

The implications of this event you are free to perceive in any manner you choose. Let me suggest to you, however, the implications of the empty tomb from the divine perspective have grave and long-term repercussions whether you believe it, perceive it, or commit to it…or not.

The tomb was empty.