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Seeds of the Kingdom

Empty and Full

by Andy Taylor

… and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:19, ESV

Today we celebrate Jesus, bursting into resurrection life. Wow! As the two Marys went to anoint Jesus’ body with spices, they were greeted by an angel sitting on the stone he’d just rolled away from the entrance to the tomb. Matthew 28:3 tells us the angel looked like lightning. What a moment in history! The tomb was empty, and against all the odds, Jesus was alive.

I’ve been chewing on what it meant for Jesus to get to that point. Philippians 2:7 says that Jesus emptied Himself, became a human, stooped low in staggering humility, and obeyed His heavenly Father to the point of being brutally murdered on the cross – even though He’d done nothing wrong.

To empty yourself means you operate in a totally sacrificial way. You don’t consider your own needs, wants or happiness – you are completely other-focussed. I don’t know about you, but that can be challenging. We’re hardwired to put ourselves in the middle and let the world revolve around us. But not so with Jesus. He went above and beyond anything the world had ever seen, or ever will see. No wonder His Father shouted out from heaven such a statement of love and joy about His beloved Son.

But this emptying of Jesus – as unjust and horrific as it was – is the very thing that enables us to be filled. Today’s verse says it beautifully (definitely worth reading from verse 14 onwards) … that our faith enables Jesus to live in our hearts, which leads to the roots of our lives being grounded in His love, meaning that we can be filled with the fullness of God. His emptying of Himself enables me to be filled.

In a world that is in utter turmoil and completely out of ideas and answers, this is the beautiful and powerful message of the gospel; that Jesus’ life of emptying Himself means that a lost sinner like me can find life. Not just life, but purpose, love, acceptance, peace, contentment, healing, forgiveness, freedom, protection, deliverance, family, and so much more.

The world can keep their chocolate eggs.  They offer nothing but unwanted calories. I’ll accept the remarkable gift that Jesus won for me on the cross, and I’ll choose afresh today to love Him with all I am, and empty myself as an offering of thanks to Him.

Andy Taylor is Director of Ellel Grange, UK National Director and is a member of the Executive Leadership of Ellel Ministries. He joined the team in 1991 and has served the Lord at Ellel Ministries centres in the UK, Australia and the USA. Andy is married to Cath and they have three boys.

 

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