Why an empty tomb is such a big deal
George Washington’s tomb is engraved with the Scripture, John 11:25, where Jesus told Martha: “I am the Resurrection and the Life; sayeth the Lord. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.”
Martin Luther (1483-1546) remarked: “Our Lord has written the promise of the Resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf in the springtime.”
Elias Boudinot (1740-1821) was the president of the Continental Congress, 1782-83. He was a U.S. Representative from New Jersey, 1789-95, and helped frame the Bill of Rights. He was also director of the U.S. Mint, 1795-97, under Presidents Washington and John Adams.
Becoming a genuine Christian during the Great Awakening, Elias Boudinot was baptized by Rev. George Whitfield and helped to found the American Bible Society in 1816. Elias Boudinot stated in New Jersey, July 4, 1783: “No sooner had the great Creator of the heavens and the earth finished His almighty work, and pronounced all very good, but He set apart … one day in seven for the commemoration of His inimitable power in producing all things out of nothing. … The deliverance of the children of Israel from a state of bondage to an unreasonable tyrant was perpetuated by the Paschal lamb, and enjoining it on their posterity as an annual festival forever. … The resurrection of the Savior of mankind is commemorated by keeping the first day of the week. … Let us then, my friends and fellow citizens, unite all our endeavors this day to remember, with reverential gratitude to our Supreme Benefactor, all the wonderful things He has done for us, in our miraculous deliverance from a second Egypt-another house of bondage.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) wrote in his sermon “The Leafless Tree,” delivered March 8, 1857 at New Park Street Chapel: “If we read the Scripture’s aright the Jews have a great deal to do with this world’s history. They shall be gathered in; Messiah shall come, the Messiah they are looking for, the same Messiah who came once shall come again, shall come as they expected him to come the first time. They then thought he would come a prince to reign over them, and so he will when he comes again. He will come to be king of the Jews, and to reign over his people most gloriously; for when he comes Jew and Gentile shall have equal privileges, though there shall yet be some distinction afforded to that royal family from whose loins Jesus came; for he shall sit upon the throne of his father David, and unto him shall be gathered all nations.”
In his Easter Address, April 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan stated: “This week Jewish families and friends have been celebrating Passover. … Its observance reminds all of us that the struggle for freedom and the battle against oppression waged by the Jews since ancient times is one shared by people everywhere. And Christians have been commemorating the last momentous days leading to the crucifixion of Jesus 1,950 years ago. Tomorrow, as morning spreads around the planet, we’ll celebrate the triumph of life over death, the Resurrection of Jesus.”
Reagan continued: “Both observances tell of sacrifice and pain but also of hope and triumph. … Men and women around the world who love God and freedom – bear a message of world hope and brotherhood like the rites of Passover and Easter that we celebrate this weekend. … We want peace. … And then they ask, ‘Do you think that we can have these things one day?’ Well, I do. I really do. Nearly 2,000 years after the coming of the Prince of Peace, such simple wishes may still seem far from fulfillment. But we can achieve them. We must never stop trying.”
Well-known British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge wrote in his 1975 work titled “Jesus”: “As Man alone, Jesus could not have saved us; as God alone, he would not; Incarnate, he could and did.”
Sir Lionel Alfred Luckhoo (1914-1997) was knighted twice by the Queen of England. He was the only person to have been an ambassador for two sovereign nations simultaneously, Barbados and Guyana. He served as Lord Mayor of Georgetown, Guyana, and presided as Judge of the Supreme Court of Guyana. Sir Lionel Luckhoo was acknowledged in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most successful criminal attorney.
At the age of 64, after studying world religions, Sir Lionel Luckhoo accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior on Nov. 7, 1978. Addressing audiences worldwide, including presidents, kings, parliaments, cabinets, bar associations, and the United Nations, Sir Lionel Luckhoo stated: “The bones of Muhammad are in Medina, the bones of Confucius are in Shantung, the cremated bones of Buddha are in Nepal. Thousands pay pilgrimages to worship at their tombs which contain their bones. But in Jerusalem there is a cave cut into the rock. This is the tomb of Jesus. It is empty! Yes, empty! Because He is risen! He died, physically and historically. He arose from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of God.”
In his Easter Message, April 2015, British Prime Minister David Cameron stated: “The values of the Bible, the values of Christianity are the values that we need – values of compassion, of respect, of responsibility, of tolerance. Now … you don’t have to be a Christian … to have strong values, to believe in strong values or to pass those values on to your children, but the point I always make is that it helps. We’re always trying to tell our children not to be selfish, but is there a better way of putting it than ‘love thy neighbor’? …”
David Cameron continued: “We’re always telling our children to be tolerant … but is there a better way of explaining tolerance than saying, ‘do to others as you would be done by’? It’s the simplest encapsulation of an absolutely vital value and the Christian church and the teaching of the Bible has put it so clearly. We’re always telling our children that they must make the most of what they have; they must not waste what they have been given, and is there a better way of putting that than ‘don’t hide your light under a bushel, make the most of your talents.'”
Spanish King Felipe VI stated Dec. 13, 2016: “Europe needs … to be honest and respectful to both our common Judeo-Christian values and origins.”
Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl wrote in the foreword of the Hungarian translation of his book “Out of Concern for Europe: An Appeal”: “Europe cannot be the new home for millions of people in need … (as many refugees come) from different cultural backgrounds. They follow in significant part, faiths other than Judeo-Christianity, which is one of the foundations of our values and social order.”
In an Easter address in St. Peter’s Square, April 1, 1956, Pope Pius XII stated: “This year’s celebration of Easter should be primarily a recall to faith in Christ, addressed to people who, through no fault of their own, are still unaware of the saving work of the Redeemer; to those who, on the contrary, would wish to have His name wiped out of the minds and hearts of nations; and finally, in a special manner, to those souls of little faith who, seduced by deceptive enticements, are on the point of exchanging the priceless Christian values for those of a false earthly progress.”
John Milton Hay (1838-1905) was private secretary to President Lincoln and ambassador to Great Britain under President McKinley. As Secretary of State, 1898-1905, John Milton Hay negotiated over 50 treaties, including the Open-Door policy with China; the Panama Canal; the Alaskan boundary; the Philippine policy. John Milton Hay worked for the New York Tribune from 1870 to 1875, where he published the poem:
Sinai and Calvary
But Calvary stands to ransom
The earth from utter loss;
In shade than light more glorious
The shadow of the Cross.
To heal a sick world’s trouble,
To soothe its woe and pain,
On Calvary’s sacred summit
The Pascal Lamb was slain.
Almighty God! direct usLet Sinai’s thunder aid us
To keep Thy perfect Law!
O blessed Savior, help us
Nearer to Thee to draw!
To guard our feet from sin,
And Calvary’s light inspire us
The love of God to win.
Philanthropist George Hay Stuart (1816-1890) served as the president of the United States Christian Commission, which was formed out of the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in New York, Nov. 14, 1861. During the Civil War, the United States Christian Commission raised millions of dollars in private donations to provide supplies, hospital stores and clothing to the army and navy. George Hay Stuart helped distribute over 30 million gospel tracts and New Testaments to the soldiers. One of the workers was D.L. Moody, who later became a world renowned minister.
George Hay Stuart stated: “I have prayed for this union; and I have labored for it, simply because I believed that it would bring glory to my blessed Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. … I have labored and prayed for it, because it would bring brethren together, now unhappily divided, to see eye to eye, that the nations that have so long bowed down to idols might learn of Jesus and Him crucified. … Since these twenty-four hours have passed away eighty-six thousand four hundred immortal souls have gone to the judgment seat of Christ. … I never hear the funeral bell toll without asking myself the question, ‘What have I done to point that departed soul to the Lamb of God that died to save a perishing world?’ Brethren, buckle on your armor for a great conflict; buckle it on for giving the glorious Gospel of the Son of God to the millions of the earth who are perishing for lack of knowledge.”
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