“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Fullness from Emptiness, by Randall D. Kittle
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It was very early on a Sunday morning and with the cold dew of the early dawn splashing on her feet she quickly came with her closest friends to this beautiful and peaceful garden. But she was not drawn here by the fullness of her friendship with her companions, but by the emptiness of her broken heart. She had suffered an unfathomable loss from which she had no hope of recovering. Through a seemingly sudden and shocking turn of events, she had lost her beloved “rabboni.” To her He was more than a great teacher, for He had delivered her from a life of demonic oppression and given her a new life overflowing with hope.

Others had stood afar off as He was put to death, but she had gotten as close to the cross as she could, and clung there till all was over. She was still haunted by the sounds of the agony she had heard Him endure, and even more by His parting words,
“It is finished” … the last words she would ever hear Him speak. She had wept bitterly as His dead body was taken from the cross and wrapped in linen. She then accompanied His lifeless body as it came to this garden, His final resting place. She lingered until the dusk of that evening, but the Sabbath brought a forced separation with so much left undone and unanswered.

For her, that Sabbath was far from being a day of rest. While her heart was empty, her mind was swirling about with so many questions. The prophet and teacher who had brought her new life had had His very life snuffed out. Why? For what purpose? How could she go on? She couldn’t bring Him back, but at least she could make certain that He was properly anointed for burial, for the timing of His death had been such that the preparing of His body for burial was inadequate and incomplete.

So Mary found herself hurrying back to the garden, the empty void in her heart more vast than the emptiness of the cloudless sky dawning above her. It was in this state of emptiness that Mary came to the garden tomb of Joseph of Arimathea where the body of Jesus of Nazareth lay.

But the emptiness of her heart was matched by the emptiness of the tomb. In a moment of time all of her questions faded away and the emptiness of her heart became full and overflowing. The risen Christ came to her, and looking at her in her confused, wounded, and empty state He called her by name, “Mary.” The answer to all her questions, the solution to the emptiness of her heart had come, it was Jesus! Her hopeless heart could hope again and the emptiness of her heart was filled because the tomb was empty; Jesus was alive! Days of turmoil and anxious nights no longer mattered because Jesus was the Messiah. He had done the impossible by conquering hell, death, and the grave. This was now more than a truth He had taught that His followers couldn’t comprehend. The empty tomb and the risen Christ came to the empty heart of Mary and her heart and hopes and life were resurrected.

This is how it is for every one of us. When we come to the end of ourselves and realize the emptiness of what we have, the emptiness of what we can do, the empty tomb and the risen Christ will minister to our lives and something truly miraculous will occur — He will call our name and the vast void of emptiness will become more than full because of the finished work of the cross.

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