Running On Empty: What the Empty Tomb Means To An Empty Life

Empty wallet? Empty relationships? Empty life?

It may be hard to see how a Jewish Rabbi who died nearly 2,000 years ago could have anything to offer your emptiness and brokenness today.

But that’s until you consider that this man didn’t stay in the tomb. Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi, but he was (and is) so much more!

On Easter Sunday, we began a three week message series entitled Running On Empty.

You can listen to and share the messages below:

1. Hopeless (John 20:1-18)

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Sermon Summary

Before encountering the resurrected Jesus, the empty tomb was bad news for Mary. She couldn’t see how the empty tomb might be good news. In her grief, she didn’t even recognize the resurrected Jesus until He spoke her name.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to see Jesus in the midst of our troubling circumstances. What makes the difference is when we can see the resurrected Jesus at work in and through our life circumstances to receive glory and to work all for our good.

We are not without hope because Jesus, who suffered far greater than we ever will, understands our need and promises to be with us. Even more, He has promised that these circumstances are temporary and that we are not alone!

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2. Faithless (John 20:19-31)

Join us April 23rd at City Life Church for the next message in this series.

3. Aimless (John 21:1-25)

Join us April 30th at City Life Church for the next message in this series.

Please contact us if you have questions about this series or about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus.

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We want to invite you to join us on Sundays at 10:30 as we continue our current sermon series. Please sign up to receive emails and never miss out on sermons and ministry opportunities at City Life Church.

Happy Easter from City Life Church in Ridgewood, NY

The good news of Jesus’ resurrection is so good that we celebrate EVERY Sunday. But, if you don’t have a church to call home and you live in or near Ridgewood, NY, we would love to see you at City Life Church! Our service begins at 10:30am and we have a special children’s church for children ages 3-10 during the sermon.

EASTER | 10_30AM

On Easter Sunday, Pastor Nathan will preach on Jesus’ Last Words on the cross. If you’d like to help spread the word, save the images from this post to your computer and share them on social media.

See you Sunday!


  • We hope to see you at City Life Church on Sunday, but we also want to share another special opportunity on Good Friday. Grace Baptist Church will be hosting a Good Friday service at 7:30pm at their location in Woodhaven, NY. You can get more information at
  • CityKIDS Weekly Bible Club will not meet this Friday!

Share this photo on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let people know you’ll be at City Life Church on Easter Sunday!

Raised (Mark 16:1-8)

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Sermon Summary

1. We deserve pity if Jesus is still dead

a. A Dead Jesus is worth admiring

When the women came to the tomb on Easter Sunday, their only hope was to gain access so that they could anoint a dead Jesus. Even though Jesus had prophesied that He would rise on the third day, they didn’t have faith that He might be alive.

Dead Mohammed, Dead Buddha, Dead Confucius, Dead Socrates and Dead Jesus are all people we might learn from (for good or bad). They all taught and led movements and gathered devoted followers. Their teaching has endured. They all tried to do good things. They helped others in need. But they are all dead. We can only read about them. We can be inspired by their teachings. We can even practice what they preached. But they are all dead.

b. Dead Jesus must ultimately be abandoned.

Eventually, these women would’ve had to go on with their lives. They probably would’ve continued with Jewish observances and ultimately forgotten about Jesus.

A dead Jesus would be similar to other dead religious leaders but He would be different in one respect: His claims were different than theirs. For example, Jesus claimed to be God’s Son. He also claimed that He would lay down His life to show His love and that He would rise on the third day.

If Jesus is still dead, then those claims were nonsense at best and delusional at worst.

1 Corinthians 15:17 says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

2. Good News: Jesus isn’t dead!

When the women got to the tomb they discovered that the stone had been rolled away. God had already provided without them needing to lift a finger. They wouldn’t have been able to roll the stone away and they weren’t even aware that it had been sealed and a guard had been assigned to watch the tomb. All they knew is that when they arrived the tomb was open.

Even better, they found that it was empty and the messenger told them that Jesus wasn’t there, He has been resurrected! They only wanted Dead Jesus and all of their effort never would’ve even gotten them past the stone, much less the seal and the guard, but God not only removed the obstacle but they discovered that Jesus was not dead, He was alive!

In verses 6-7 the messenger delivers the gospel and the great commission all rolled into one. He tells them a) don’t be alarmed b) Jesus is alive c) the proof is this empty tomb) and go, tell His disciples (including Peter) to meet Jesus in Galilee e) just as He said.

We, too, benefit from this Good News. Jesus is alive and we are to go and tell others that Jesus offers forgiveness because His death and resurrection accomplished that for us.

Rather than pursue a Dead Mohammed or a Dead Abraham or even a Dead Jesus, we have joy in the realization that Jesus is truly alive and He has demonstrated His love for us in such a meaningful way.

It’s Friday, but Easter Sunday is Coming!

It's Friday, but Sunday's Coming!!

It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming!!

On Friday, Jesus’ followers deserted Him; Judas betrayed Him; the religious leaders arrested Him; Pilate didn’t stand up for Him; and the soldiers beat Him, mocked Him and crucified Him. But what they didn’t know is: Sunday was coming!

On Friday, Jesus hung on the cross forsaken by His Father. The passersby ridiculed Him. But Sunday’s coming.

On Friday, Jesus died and was buried.

But Sunday’s coming!

On Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead!
On Sunday, Jesus conquered Satan and sin!
On Sunday, Jesus proved He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

For the next two weeks we will be celebrating Palm Sunday and Easter at City Life Church in Ridgewood, NY and we want you to be there!

It’s Friday…
Are you hurting and empty inside?
Is there someone else you know who is suffering?
Do you know someone who feels left out or abandoned?

…but Sunday’s coming!! 
We want you to come and hear about the resurrection of Jesus.
Invite your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors because they need to hear the good news that even though it may feel like Friday, Sunday is coming!




Someone you know needs to know about the death and resurrection of Jesus. The easiest way to get the word out is to like and share this event with them!