The Empty Tomb – Gospel in Life

The Empty Tomb

Tim Keller |  April 8, 2007

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  • Easter
  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
Mark 16:1-8
RS 191-25


All four of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) tell us that the women followers of Jesus on Easter Sunday morning found the tomb empty and heard a message from the angel.

Of those four accounts, Mark’s is the shortest. In two wonderful verses, we have the entirety of the life-changing message of the resurrection, of Easter.

There are three aspects to this message: 1) there is a word of challenge to change your mind, 2) there is a word of grace to change your heart, and 3) there is a word of mission to change the whole course and shape of your life in the world.

Mark 16:1–8

In the story of Easter Sunday, as told by all four gospels, the women who followed Jesus find his tomb empty and are delivered a heavenly message. This event is the heart of Easter, and the Gospel of Mark captures its powerful meaning in verses 6 and 7. This message challenges us to think differently, feel grace deeply, and live out a mission that can change our lives. It shows us the life-changing power of Jesus rising from the dead.

1. A challenge to think differently

In Mark’s Gospel, the women who saw the empty tomb give us historical proof that Jesus really did rise from the dead. This wasn’t just a story – it happened. Even if miracles seem hard to believe, we have to let the evidence guide our thinking. The Christian faith spread quickly in the early days, and the most reasonable explanation is that it was because of Jesus’ resurrection.

2. Feeling grace in our hearts because of the resurrection

Jesus loved and forgave us before we even knew we needed it. That is grace. Peter, who was one of Jesus’ closest followers, understood this deeply. His life shows us that God’s kingdom isn’t about earning salvation, it’s about receiving grace. When Jesus rose from the dead, it was proof that our sins are forgiven. Even our worst mistakes can lead to new beginnings.

3. A call to live out a mission

Understanding that Jesus rose from the dead frees us from fear and gives us hope. We’re not just promised a fresh start in our minds and hearts, but also a future with new bodies. This gives us joy and hope even when life is tough, reminding us that there’s more to life than what we see now. The resurrection shows us that God loves us and wants to make the world perfect. This should inspire us to fight against things like sickness, poverty, and death, and to take care of others.



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