When Michelangelo visited several big art galleries in Europe, he was deeply impressed by the great number of paintings depicting Jesus Christ on the cross. He asked the question, “Why are these galleries filled with so many pictures of Christ on the cross…dying? Why do artists concentrate on that passing episode, as if it were the last word and final scene? Christ’s dying on the cross lasted for a few hours, but to the end of unending eternity, Christ is alive! He rules and reigns triumphant!”
Michelangelo was right. We are certainly impressed by the passion of the cross, and justifiably so, but…it would have no meaning were it not for the resurrection! People wear crosses as a symbol of their Christian faith…and for a long time, I wondered why not a grave stone(?) Why would this not be the symbol (not that we really need a symbol at all)? Yet, a few years ago, some friends purchased a clothing company – Empty Tomb Gear. I am thankful that someone is blessing people with a symbol that recognizes the full power of God at work.
Still, the true symbol of the Christian faith and life is the presence of God's Holy Spirit in the life of a believer (Romans 8:9)...that results in a changed heart, one that is dedicated to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Some might say -- why do you not say baptism? It is necessary, but many who are baptized, do not necessarily believe or give their lives to Christ, i.e...do not recognize or live according to the Word of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We come to this time of year where the world recognizes the empty tomb…that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Our heavenly Father raised up His Son eternally so that we too might one day be raised eternally. We are to experience what Jesus experienced...death, burial and resurrection!