Echoes of an Empty Tomb
by Tad Pruitt (@tadcpruitt)
An echo starts then fades away
While dawn begins a dreaded day.
A thought perhaps that three days on
Will bring more hope than three days gone.
She rises, tired, restless, sad.
All seems lost, as if a fad
Deemed useless now to all with reason,
Faded faith, a worn-out season.
Hoping not to hope as past
But just to share a moment last
With lifeless, shrouded, silent friend
Who’s life less sounded Law, but End.
Less Law, but what? The echo rang
Around inside her heart and brain,
But came confused with curse and fears,
Drowned out by questions, sobs and tears.
Down the path to hated tomb
She walked and murmured funeral tune
And prayer, for death and Rome had taken,
Tortured, pierced and left forsaken
Her good friend, her healer, teacher,
Prophet, shepherd—more than preacher.
Echoes of Hosanna ringing,
Then replaced with chains and clinging
Blood-soaked tunic, jeers and jibes
From those so easily turned by bribes
Of peace or order, power kept
If under rug The Way was swept.
For dangerous, disruptive was
The Way, the Teacher’s sacred cause.
It seemed to tear apart the Law—
The life religious all now saw.
And what then? Echoed words from wise,
Both skeptics, guards from false-taught lies,
And seekers, wandering, wanting still,
But wondering how Law’s void to fill?
But she cared not for thoughts so lofty,
Philosophical while softly
Near the cave she came so sure
That death was final, hope no cure.
And what of sin? What did He say?
It had not died that skull-cross day.
Or so it seemed at this dark hour
New day dawning bitter, sour.
But at the tomb a thing not right
Filled her with dread. This horror might
Get worse! “Dear God, I could not bear,”
She thought, “if desecration paired
With death.” The stone so massive moved,
Unsealed the grave, unlocked and shoved
Aside by forces greater than
The guards could muster or demand.
So now unguarded was the trail
That led to final lifeless tale.
Now all had left, abandoned him
Who came to join those cursed by sin.
But wait, where is he? There’s no bone
Inside that shroud now left alone,
Abandoned as like chains put down
And walls now echoed different sound.
It was a voice, a face so glowing
Speaking what her heart was knowing,
That he was not here, not now,
Nor ever more; and more, ’bout how
Death could not keep him in that grave.
His life had lived to ransom, save,
Secure and station at His side
In Father’s love—for that he died!
She knew it! Surely he had come
Not just to teach, then die or run
From what we needed most of all,
A cure from sin and warped wrong call.
But his life in exchange for yours
And mine and hers. An open door
To any who will call his name
As Savior, Chosen One Who came.
Now echoed from that tomb her cries
Of marvel at His sacrifice
And songs of praise and thanks resounded
From the stone the slab surrounded
Out into the sun she bolted,
Hope renewed, despair revolted
From, as those she rushed to tell
Came all to mourn their friend who fell.
“He is not dead! He lives, I’m sure!”
She said three times because they were
So stunned. “Her grief has made her mad,”
They first thought, til she visaged glad.
And as she spoke His words came back
To mind and heart, and now unpacked,
Now understood, the Good News clear
And what he said made sense to hear.
For grace now echoed from the tomb,
And gospel filled that hopeless room,
And all believed or soon would see
The Law fulfilled on alter’s tree.
And echo of the lifted curse,
It rang throughout the universe,
And rings today in Easter’s bells
For all to hear and all to tell
The Good News that his power to save
Is yours; it’s mine! But more, He gave
In grace, sustaining, changing might,
Not ours, but His! Because the fight
Was won that day as Jesus rose
From death to life. And so it goes,
The echo of that empty tomb
Is grace for all, our new found tune.
Yes, Christ is risen from the dead
For sinless life he crowned his head
And Church is made His chosen bride
Sing loudly, Church! His grace is life!