Harry Houdini was the greatest escape artist ever but the one thing that always lingered in the back of his mind, could anyone truly escape from death? Harry Houdini died in October 1926. Prior to his death he gave his wife a prearranged code that he would allegedly use to contact her after his death on his birthday. For several years after Harry’s death his wife Bess every year on his birthday would light a candle and sit before a picture of Harry waiting for him to contact her. But she never heard from him. Death held Harry, he could not escape. Jesus Christ did what Harry Houdini could not do, He faced death and defeated its cruel grip on mankind. Jesus is the key to escape the power of death, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
But for a moment let us consider the unthinkable. Just suppose Jesus Christ is still in the grave and he did not rise. Then six tragic things would be true if Jesus is still in the tomb.
First, Paul tells us, all our preaching on Jesus and his resurrection would be profitless and “empty” (1 Corinthians 15:12-14a). Second, why put our faith in a dead Messiah, because our faith would “also be empty” (v. 14b). But He was shown to be the Son of God with power “by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Third, if Jesus is still in the grave, then the disciples are “found to be false witnesses of God that He raised up Christ” (15:15-16). Fourth, if Jesus did not rise, “you are still in your sins,” and we would have no hope of forgiveness (15:17). Fifth, if Christ is not risen, then death has dominion and all “those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (15:18). Sixth, if Christ is not risen, then nothing really matters and believers are the “most pitiable of all men,” and the future holds a fearful uncertainty for all of us. (15:19).
But we have an empty tomb to show our Savior lives. We invite you to join us at New Melle Baptist Church where you can learn more about Jesus, His resurrection, and you too can have eternal life and overcome the fear of death.