Sometimes things are not all they seem. Have you ever
wondered why we celebrate an empty tomb? There is tremendous significance in
not finding Jesus in the tomb. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior,
As a pastor I have begun the Easter Morning service by offering the
children the best Easter egg they had ever seen. Each one received the
plastic egg with the instructions not to open it until the end of the
service. They held on to them with the assurance that what was inside was
going to be great. At the end of the service each one would open their egg
and find them empty. They would ask me “what is so great about an empty
egg?” I would then help them to understand the meaning of empty.
In racing empty has its own meaning, it means nothing. When you go
out, run the race and come up empty it means you didn't win anything. When
you hear the word you think that something is wrong or missing. That is not
the same with Christ; empty means hope, salvation, and victory over death.
Let's explore that a little. A few things had to happen to make
Easter possible. First Jesus had to come to Earth in the form of a man.
Scripture puts it this way;
(Jesus) who, although He existed in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself,
taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on
Jesus could come to Earth he had to set some of His privileges of being God
aside. He had to empty himself out. Think of it like going to prison. I hope
none of you have experienced this, but if you have you know what I am
speaking of. You have to remove everything and surrender everything to the
guards. They give you new clothes to wear and hold on to your personal
belongings until you are set free again.
It was the same for Jesus; He imprisoned Himself in the form of a
human and set aside His attributes as God for our sake. He became a slave
for us. He didn't demand his rights as the Son of God; He set those rights
aside so that we could be free. He emptied himself.
Have we emptied our self for someone else? Do we understand what
that means? When was the last time it didn't matter what we wanted but it
mattered what someone else needed more? When was the last time we let
something go and didn't demand our rights or to be treated fairly?
Do you know why some drivers are so well liked? They are
appreciative of the chance they have been given. They don't think they
deserved it but are glad to have the opportunity. They are willing to do
whatever it takes to honor those who gave it to them. We like that about
Jesus emptied himself out so that we would have the opportunity to
be free from the bondage of sin. He gave us the right to be called children
of God. He came, gave His life and rose from the dead, victorious over death
so that we could be free.
How free are we today? Do we have freedom in Christ? He made it
available for us.
To come to Earth Jesus had to empty Himself, to return to heaven He
had to empty the tomb. Do you know what separates Christianity from every
other religion? An empty tomb. Other religions point to a founder whose
grave and remains can be located and identified. We know where Christ was
laid to rest but the place is still empty. He is alive. He has victory over
death. He offers the same to us.
Death could not hold Christ and it should not hold us. One of our
biggest fears in life is death. We know the odds, 100% of us will die. Why
then, if it is a forgone conclusion, does it make us so fearful? I think it
is fear of the unknown. We fear what we don't know and try desperately to
hold onto what we do know; regardless if it the best for us or not.
Christ went to the grave and overcame death so that our fear could
be removed. He put it this way;
John 14:1-4 "Do
not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told
I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place
I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going."
Jesus prepares a place for us beyond death.
A place that is better than the one we know, a place in heaven. Think of it
this way, God created everything we have here. Look at all we have done is
to spoil it. How much better will heaven be if it is unspoiled? I can't
wait. There is work to be done before we get there though.
Do you remember those eggs? They are empty, but yet they are full.
They are full of life, full of hope, full of peace and full of love. In
their emptiness we find everything we need to know about God. Jesus emptied
Himself for you and me. He conquered death for you and me. He is waiting for
How will we respond to the gift that God has given us? Will we
empty ourselves in service to others? Will we accept the offer Christ makes
to fill ourselves with His Spirit? Will we be the ones to go and bring the
message of the empty tomb to others; the message of Hope, Peace and Love?
Christ emptied Himself for us, now we need to empty ourselves for Him.
God Bless, Rev. Don
FROM THE ROAD
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE -
Waterford and Thompson opened for practice this past weekend and the sound
of racecars could be heard ringing through the countryside. I planned on
getting out there but with the Easter Holiday and my obligations to my
congregation and family it wasn’t possible.
I did receive some reports that things went well for most. A couple
of guys had a rough ride, Jeff Rocco and Tommy Barrett. They have some work
to do before next week’s opener. Fortunately it was only the cars that
BUD BLASTOFF- This week have the Valenti Modified Racing
Series and Northeastern Midget Association kicking off the season with
Waterford Speedbowl. We are planning on having a chapel service at 10:00 am
in the infield. Bobby Somers and Tara Stoehr will be leading. I am excited
about getting the Northeast racing season going!
ONE MORE TIME - Rev. Dan heads back to Greenville-Pickens to
see if we can get the second race of the K&N East season in. After that he
is headed to Five Flags in Pensacola , FL for the next event. He will miss
the Icebreaker at Thompson. It will be different to not have him there. Pray
for him as he travels and pray for us as we are being stretched.
It will be good to get back to racing and renewing relationships
with folks. I ask that you continue to partner with us so that we can
continue to serve the racing community. We are excited about what 2013 has
Until next time, be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals
and apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at
http://www.rwjm.com/store. Send us your prayer and counseling needs no matter
what part of our racing family you are in, or give us a call. Remember that
God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586,
Tolland, CT 06084.
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Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face
toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
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