Looking out my window today I see clumps of dirt and grass as well as broken branches and sticks along the sidewalk. Along the side of the road there’s the remnant of road salt and other dirt all pushed aside by the plows of winter. The sun is shining and birds are returning to the area as well. On my walk into the radio station this morning I even saw two mourning doves cooing along the sidewalk and drinking water from nearby puddles. We find ourselves on the other side of winter.
We also find ourselves in the first full week of April which puts us on the Other Side of The Empty Tomb. What does it mean to be on the other side of the tomb? Just a few short weeks ago believers around the world remembered the death and resurrection of Jesus. A couple weeks ago I wrote about The Empty Tomb. With this thought in mind, I find it interesting that this morning I saw mourning doves. God speaks to us in many ways and one way is through the symbolism of what we see around us. I did a quick search on the meaning of mourning doves and found they symbolize three things spiritually; 1) A symbol of the Holy Spirit; 2) A symbol of Hope; and 3) A symbol of Peace. How appropriate to see mourning doves as we are on The Other Side of The Empty Tomb! In the midst of not only death, but the fact that the tomb is empty, God is speaking of His plan concerning the Holy Spirit as well as Hope and Peace. In the midst of tragedy, there is Hope and Peace when we lean on the power of the Holy Spirit recognizing He is also known as The Comforter.
Some two thousand years ago two men were walking along the road outside of Jerusalem discussing what had happened the weekend before. They talked about the man they called the King of the Jews who was crucified one day and then three days later His disciples discovered His tomb was empty! Luke tells us in his Gospel that as the men walked along the road Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them, but they did not recognize Him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” Luke says the men “stood still with their faces downcast”. One of them asked, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” When the men reached their destination Jesus continued walking on. But they urged Him to stay with them because it was nearly night. Luke continues with his description of the night writing that when “He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him and He disappeared from their sight”. They then got up from the table and returned to Jerusalem. When they found the disciples they excitedly told them “It is true! The Lord has risen!”
What does The Other Side of the Empty Tomb mean to you? Are you like the men walking alongside the road feeling downcast and sad as a result of life’s events? Once the men discovered who Jesus was at the dinner table they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” The Good News is, just as Jesus revealed Himself to the men that day some two thousand years ago, He can still reveal Himself to you today. When you allow Him to unfold the promises of hope and peace, you too can discover joy in life as we find ourselves on The Other Side of the Empty Tomb.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.