Dear friends and Carmelites,
A story is told of little Philip, who was born with Down’s syn-drome. He attended a third-grade Sunday School class with several eight-year-old boys and girls. Typical of that age, the children did not readily accept Philip with his differences. But because of a creative teacher, they began to care about Phi-lip and accept him as part of the group, though not fully.
The Sunday after Easter the teacher brought Leggs panty-hose containers, those that look like large eggs. Each recei-ving one, the children were told to go outside on that lovely spring day, find some symbol for new life, and put it in the egg-like container. After running about the church property in wild confusion, the students returned to the classroom and placed the containers on the table.
Surrounded by the children, the teacher began to open them one by one. After opening each one, whether a flower, butter-fly, or leaf, the class would ooh and ahh. Then one was open-ed, revealing nothing inside. The children exclaimed, “That’s stupid. That’s not fair. Somebody didn’t do their assignment.” Philip spoke up, “That’s mine.” “Philip, you don’t ever do things right!” the student retorted. “There’s nothing there!” “I did so do it,” Philip insisted. “I did do it. It’s empty. The tomb was empty!” Silence followed. From then on Philip became a full member of the class.
He died not long afterward from an infection most normal children would have shrugged off. At the funeral this class of eight-year-olds marched up to the altar not with flowers, but with their Sunday school teacher, each to lay on it an empty pantyhose egg.
“The tomb was empty!” Mary Magdalene made a similar cry to Christ’s disciples after going to the tomb on the first Easter dawn. “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him” (John 20:2).
The empty tomb is the cornerstone of Christian belief, as said by someone that Christianity stands or falls on the empty tomb. Several theories and suggestions regarding the empty tomb were propounded. One is that the disciples stole the body and hid it somewhere to claim Jesus’ resurrection. Ano-ther suggests that Jesus didn’t die but was in coma, and He regained consciousness and walked out of the tomb. These, and others, didn’t measure up to the test of history.
The angels offered the most astounding but concrete expla-nation: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? [Jesus] is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:5-6).
An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives.