Grace in an Empty Tomb

Posted by donna on April 1, 2019

We often see and feel the grace of the Father as it relates to us as individuals. We joyfully experience the result of the Father’s grace. Yes, we know there was a cost. There was a high and terrible cost, but did you ever think about how the cost of grace affected our Father?

The Prodigal son rejected his father, literally wished him dead when he demanded his share of the inheritance. He failed to see or even care how this would affect his father’s emotions and well-being, or how his father’s standing in the community would be shame and embarrassment. His reputation sullied.

Why would the Father subject himself to shame, embarrassment and pain?  In the parable of the prodigal, the father waited, anticipating and longing for the return of his child … his errant, rebellious, ungrateful and self-centred son. Regardless of everything the father endured because of his son’s actions, this was still his son, and he, being the father, had another plan. In the same way, our Heavenly Father had a plan that was formed long before Jesus told this parable of an earthly prodigal and his father.

I like the way Eugene Peterson renders Romans 5:8 in his paraphrase, The Message; But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him.”

Could it be that all along the plan of God the Father for His prodigal children included a path back to Himself? On the cross, Jesus endured the torturous reality when God the Father turned His back on Him and laid upon Him the weight of the sin of each one of us. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). The pain was great, the shame and our sin ran deep. The Father laid upon Jesus the weight of our sin as He died in our place, a perfect sacrifice that took away the wrath of God and satisfied the penalty. While that was enough, there was still more to the plan.

empty tomb.pngIt was revealed first to two women who arrived early in the morning to a dusty tomb, weighted with sadness and despair at the events of the last hours. They encountered an angelic messenger who revealed the rest of the plan; But the angel said to the women, do not be afraid, for I know you seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, FOR HE HAS RISEN, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay” (Matthew 28:5-6).

The grace of the Father, His pain, His broken heart for all His children is seen in the drama of the crucifixion, the demand of the law, the perfect sacrifice given, all so that we, His errant children, might be the recipients of His grace through the victory of the resurrection.

As we celebrate our hope in the resurrection of Jesus, let’s remember the Father’s deep and terrible suffering that He willingly endured that we might be restored, no longer prodigals but sons and daughters. The Father’s pain in the face of His prodigal children was necessary, our sin willingly taken on, so that His plan, His path to restoration and salvation might be accomplished through the cross and an empty tomb!

The Lord is risen, He is risen indeed!

Bill Allan first name.PNG 

Bill Allan
AGC President

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