Behold! Behold the cross of Golgotha, empty on its barren hill. Behold the weeping people, their Hope is dead in all that wasteland. Behold the mocking soldiers, quiet now in the emptiness of victory. Behold the women at the well, the men at their labors, the children at play. Behold them; they crucified our Lord.
Behold the faithful preacher, expounding the Word of God. Behold the Church-folk listening with concern. Behold the innocent child sleeping on his mother’s knee. Behold them; they crucified our Lord. Behold the cross of Golgotha; see that cross in the father-head Adam; know that it is for you, the covenant-child that our Lord has died. Behold the cross, remember, and believe!
Them turn, behold the empty tomb! Behold the soldiers, running through the trees in fear and consternation. Behold the woman come, lonely, searching, afraid. Behold the angel of the Lord, and behold the Christ, risen! Behold, remember, believe!
It has not been many weeks since the searing cold of winter enveloped the land. It seemed, the, that there could never have been any spring. The thought of death was all-pervasive, and repressing. The winter of death, which holds in its palm the promise of life, is a picture of the winter that was Calvary, when victory was won in the palm of death. Just as spring could not come without the cold of winter, just as the flower of the tulip will not bloom without the cold of frost, so death could not be conquered outside of death, nor life won outside of the passing through death.
There are times in the life of the sincere Christian when his spiritual life seems to be in the calvary of winter’s death. It appears as though there is no life in him, no hope, no future. He cannot find his God, nor pray to Him. It is as though the heavens were covered with an impenetrable brass shield. He has lost his hope and trust in the Lord. Yet, even in the throes of Calvary the Light of God shone; even in the throes of winter, spring sings. Behold the yellowing willows along the river bank, the tracks of the rabbits through the deep woods, the tiny snow fleas rejoicing in the first warmth of winter’s sun. Behold the Christ, swallowed up in physical death, yet with His Spirit in the loving hands of the Father. Behold Golgotha, and see in Golgotha, the empty tomb.
Behold the empty tomb. Hear the words of the angel: “He is not here He is risen, even as He said!” Come ye children of the Covenant! Come, see the place where the Lord lay, for He is risen, risen from the dead! Behold! Remember! Believe! Now, look around you. Can you not see the empty tomb? Can you not see death swallowed up in life? Look around you. The dry dead bulb you planted last fall is now a bowing, graceful tulip. The trees which looked like no more than bunches of dead twigs are green and tallow with bursting life. The streams have ceased their frigid gurgling, and are babbling with joy. It is the season of quickening. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. See death swallowed up in victory, and seeing, believe!
Let not you soul be troubled in the meshes of spiritual barrenness. Do not be blinded by the death which is this life. Cease your vain struggling to find God yourselves. Remove the film of desperation which is this world and behold the empty tomb. Behold, remember, believe!
It is the season of quickening. Easter and all the frills the world attaches to it will soon be here. Let us not forget the death and resurrection of our Lord in the folly of this world.
Death was swallowed up in victory on that lonely cross, the power of the victory was shown in the empty tomb. The realization of that victory is living in each child of God, for we are not dead ion sin, but alive unto Christ. We shall not die the eternal death of hell, but live eternally in the glory and glorification of the Almighty.
Behold the cross of Calvary, remember Who died there; do not forget why He died.
Behold the empty tomb. Remember Who arose there; do not forget why He arose.
Believe that Christ died for your sins, that he arose for your justification, that he reigns as your representative before God’s throne.
Behold! Remember! Believe! And LIVE!
Originally Published in:
Vol. 30 No. 1 March 1970