It was Found Empty!


It is with tears in my eyes that I am writing this devotional, this Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011. For over two months I have been praying daily for a miracle to happen in the life of a young girl named Haydelle, who I never had the opportunity to meet.

Like any teenager, she had plans for a bright future, a future where she would make a difference in people's lives. However she had a condition that was deteriorating rapidly. She had cancer that metastasized quickly into her liver, lungs and other organs as well, and her doctors were far from hopeful.

I have a son who is about her age, and I can only imagine the nightmare she had to face on a daily basis.  But she didn't let it get to her.  She was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who gave her encouragement

And in return, she gave them hope!  Each day she would joyfully say that even though her prayer was not yet answered, she was one day closer to its fulfillment.  She would truthfully declare that she wasn't disappointed that she hadn't yet received her miracle, for she trusted in God!

This girl's faith was contagious. Although she was suffering deeply, she focused on the positive and relied on the Saviour she believed in.

One of the volunteers with this ministry felt led to make her a beautiful frosted glass egg, adorned by a butterfly. Just like an egg is found empty once the chick hatches, this one was empty. Why? Because Jesus' tomb was found empty, this empty egg signified hope.

The volunteer who made the egg wrote, "The design on the egg is just handmade, but it carries with it the love of Jesus and mine. While I was making the egg, I prayed over every item that became a part of it, just as Jesus fashioned each part of us all for His glory."

It took almost 4 weeks for this present to reach this young girl, four days before her death. Upon seeing the egg, she uttered in her faint voice "Thank you". The words "The tomb is empty because 'He is not here. He is risen' had such an important significance to that youngster. Her wish before she passed away was to see her Heavenly Father and to hear Him say "It is finished!"

Just a few days later, during the night, Haydelle's wish was fulfilled. No one doubted that this young one was now in the presence of her Maker, enjoying His glorious company.

Without knowing it, this youngster has touched more lives in her death than she could ever have done if she had lived a full life on this Earth. Her message is clear to all of us: "There is hope in our God!" Her dream of making a difference in this world was realized, as was her wish for healing. Haydelle is now walking on the golden streets of Heaven. How can she stop herself from laughing? Jesus redeemed her!  He welcomed her personally into His Kingdom. There is rejoicing, absolute rejoicing in heaven, for that pure soul believed in the empty tomb where Jesus had been buried, as was symbolized by that present she received.

Those of us who are left behind mourn. We have lost someone precious. One day though, I will personally experience that empty egg as well! Why? Because I also believe in the promise of the empty tomb! Haydelle is indeed alive and well, and she wouldn't want to be in any other place, except in the arms of Jesus.

Easter is a reminder to all of us that the tomb is indeed empty.  We also commemorate this every Sunday.  And because the tomb is empty, we have hope!

When those, who had seen Jesus die 2000 years ago, realized that He had, indeed, been raised from the dead, they were also filled with hope. Read their words of excitement, their words of hope:

"I have seen the Lord!" (John 20:18 NIV)

"We have seen the Lord!" (John 20:25 NIV)

"This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true." (John 21:24 NIV)

"They found the stone rolled away from the tomb…" (Luke 24:2 NIV)

"He is not here; he has risen!" (Luke 24:6 NIV)

"He has risen from the dead." (Matt 28:4 NIV)

"He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep." (1 Cor 15:6 NIV)

Because Jesus has risen from the tomb, we too can expect a bright future!

"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." (Rom 8:11 NIV)

"But about the resurrection of the dead - have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." (Matt 22:31-32 NIV)

We are truly alive if we are filled by His presence, the presence of victory, the presence of the Risen One.

The tomb is indeed empty. "He is not here; he has risen!" Hallelujah!

Welcome home, my friend!

Rob Chaffart

Sunrise to hope

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