Empty Tomb, and Self Emptying

Apr 2, 2021 | Sermon Summaries

John 11:25, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they may physically die.”

Jesus has come that we may have life, and have it to the fullest. 
Christ is risen indeed! If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Christ is risen indeed! God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Christ is risen indeed!

Scriptures: John 20:1-10 and Philippians 2:5-7

We live in a culture that promotes large, extra-large, and super-large. The concept of Emptiness is not appreciated and is not a good feeling. That first Easter was filled with crisis, doubts, fears, uncertainties, Jesus’ body missing from the empty tomb. Beginning with Philippians 2:5-7, several theologians in Germany (from about 1860-1880) and in England (from about 1890-1910) introduced the concept of Kenosis within the church tradition. The word Kenosis in the Greek Bible means “to empty,” and is translated as “Christ emptied himself” of his divine attributes, such as omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, while he was on earth as a man. Emptying can be a disturbing concept. When Christ came to earth, He was willing to become nothing (v. 7). Christ equates himself to a servant salve (Greek. doulos).

The One who was in the “form of God” took on the “form of a servant.” Why would an all-powerful God and universal creator self-empty the divines and take a form of a vulnerable human? Why would God’s self-emptiness be transformed into a baby in a cold manger? Why would Jesus empty himself and be blamed, beaten, shamed, whipped, crowned, nailed, and allowed to hang on a criminal cross? Why would Peter the disciple who betrayed Christ many times allow the Romans to crucify himself upside down for the sake of Christ?

Why should we, the church who believe in the resurrection message of Easter practice the spiritual art of Kenosis? Easter’s resurrection message started with the self-emptying of Christ and ended with the empty tomb. Easter Sunday 2021 calls us to grow in our faith as we continue the empty tomb spirituality by self-emptying our hearts, minds, and bodies for the service of Christ. Amen.

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