December 8, 2010
Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. John 20:6-7
If you ask me, it all sounds kind of gruesome.
On December 16th a Los Angeles auction house will be selling the coffin in which Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected murderer of President John Kennedy, was buried.
He was buried in that coffin for 20 years.
Now I'm not ready to hop in on the bidding, which started at $1,000. I don't have that kind of money and, if I did, it wouldn't be used to buy morbid memorabilia.
Still, the auction house is convinced the coffin is going to bring a bundle. Among the bidders will be museums, Kennedy fans, and folks interested in presidential artifacts.
And if you're wondering why the water-damaged casket is above ground, I can explain: Lee Harvey's wife wanted to make sure a look-alike Russian agent hadn't been buried there instead of her husband. The body was exhumed; Oswald was identified, and when his body was put back in the grave it was in a new casket, which really takes me to the point of this devotion.
What kind of interest do you think there would be if someone discovered Jesus' body? How would the world's great religions act if they could point to the Savior's bones still bearing the fragrance of the spices the ladies used on Resurrection Sunday? How much would the unbelieving world pay for Jesus' filled casket?
The number would be astronomical.
But it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen because it can't happen.
There is no dead body to identify and no bones to be found in some ancient cemetery. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead, along with the evidence supplied by His empty tomb is the ultimate proof that He is the Son of God who has conquered sin, death and the devil.
The lack of a body is proof that we can believe Him when He says, "... Because I live, you shall live also" (John 14:19b).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in a world where the caskets of murderers sell for large amounts of cash, I give thanks that Jesus' tomb is empty. By His resurrection I am given the ultimate assurance He has forgiven my sins and granted me eternal life. May I always live in that blood-bought confidence. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries