McDowell Technical Community College

The Inspiring Word

Empty Tomb

By Pastor Terry Cheek Th.D.

McDowell County

Thanks for returning to read another publication of “The Blue Ridge Christian News” and our article “The Inspiring Word”.

As you read this Resurrection Sunday has probably past and the memories linger in your heart of another Easter. You have probably spent time in Church, enjoyed the hymns, programs and cantatas. Let’s think about the first Easter and talk about the disciples of Christ and their spiritual condition after the resurrection. I think we can learn a lot about our spiritual walk with the Lord and hopefully all of us can become closer to Jesus than we are now.

Reading over the gospels, including John’s, we learn the disciples were down and out. Even though they had walked with Jesus and heard Him preach, teach, watched Him perform miracles and even raise the dead they struggled with seeing only the Messiah of their forefathers. A Messiah who would overthrow the Roman empire and place Jerusalem as the worlds capital again.

They saw Jesus die on the cross but then the news came the tomb was empty! Jesus then appeared several times to the group and showing them His hands and spear pierced side they all came to realize He was alive. Do you really realize Jesus is alive today? He is alive in heaven, but do you know He can live in your heart? When the disciples believed with their heart and not their head they saw the true Son of God. Not just Jesus the miracle working carpenter’s son. I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but I fear too often today we fall into that situation. We see the Lord as His disciples saw Him when they walked with Him. We too often develop our image of Jesus and it takes something very bold to bring us to reality. That’s where the disciples were until they experienced revival while on a fishing trip. Peter led the others on a fishing trip that was embarrassing to say the least. These professional fishermen came up empty. Their heart was drifting from the Lord and the lure of their old life was calling them. It happens to us too. Then Jesus showed up, set them straight, blessed their efforts through obedience and on the shore, Jesus challenged Peter to lead the group by feeding His sheep.

Here we are. Easter is over, the Resurrection has been celebrated– now we must decide. Will we return to the lure of an old life or will we follow Jesus through obedience? He asks today if you love Him? Do you love Him more than anything? Are you willing to feed His sheep? There are many opportunities to serve the Lord where you are right now. Be His witness wherever He places you in life. I never dreamed the Lord’s work in my life would involve being a bi-vocational pastor and working in a maximum-security prison. I am His witness to staff and inmates alike daily. Many times, I have had the opportunity to pray with people and share scripture and even be blessed by those around me. Yes, Jesus does save those in prison. What a testimony many of the staff and inmates have as they witness the grace of God behind the walls. Then the Lord has opened a door for me to volunteer as a hospital Chaplin. Visiting with those in the hospital, the E.R. and the surgery center. Along with medical staff as I experience their efforts and watch their commitment to save lives. I am blessed as I give myself to the Lord as a vessel for His service. Loving the Lord and feeding His sheep takes us to places we may not plan on going but the journey is amazing.

So where are you right now? Are you struggling with your relationship with Jesus? I have been there and often get distracted by the lure of the world. Then Jesus shows up and revival happens. It can in your life as well. Let Easter be the beginning of a revived relationship with Christ, a relationship that thrives on His Love and your work feeding His sheep. Until next time may God keep you firmly in His grip!

 

You can contact Terry by calling 828-460-6120 or by emailing theinspiringword@gmail.com