A few days ago I found a fortune cookie that no one in my family had eaten yet. I love fortune cookies! I know they are silly and don't really mean anything, but it's fun to think there is a message for me inside of a cookie. Well, I unwrapped that cookie and broke it in half, and to my dismay it was empty. There was nothing inside the cookie, not even a blank piece of paper. I did not get what I expected to find and I was disappointed.
The women who went to the tomb where Jesus' body was laid after He died on the cross did not find what they expected to find either. They had brought spices and perfumes to prepare the body for burial. Upon arriving at the tomb, "They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus." (Luke 24:2-3)
What a shock that must have been! Where was the body? Suddenly there was an earthquake and an angel of the Lord appeared. "The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.' Now I have told you." (Matthew 28:5-7)
And they did see Jesus-alive! The women saw Him and spoke with Him. The disciples saw Him and even walked with Him and ate with Him. Later they saw Him ascend into heaven after reminding them of what He had already told them, "The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day..." (Luke 24:46-47)
Isn't it interesting that no other leader of any other major world religion is alive today? No other religion has a "god" who raised himself from the dead. Jesus is the only one who lives today. He's the only one whose death was the ultimate sacrifice for sin. And He's the only one with the power to raise us to new life, too.
Can you hear the excitement as I write this? Jesus Christ died, was raised to life, and is currently seated at the right hand of God interceding for us (see Romans 8:34). He is not dead anymore! Oh, that empty tomb has a much better message than any fortune I could ever find inside of a cookie.
Maybe you have already heard all of this and you are as excited about it as I am. Or maybe you've heard parts of it before but don't really understand. Or maybe you don't have a clue what I am talking about. There's a lot more to the Easter story than bunnies and chocolate eggs. Wherever you are at with the death and resurrection of Christ, I'd like to invite you experience a Passion Play at Foothills Baptist Church on Thursday and Friday. It's at 7 p.m. each night and admission is free. The church is located at 15450 S. 21st St. in Ahwatukee.
• Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.