We just spent the last few weeks reflecting on Jesus and everything he went through leading up to his death. And then Easter weekend, we focused on his death and resurrection. But friends, the story doesn’t stop there! Easter was not the end of the story!

The book of Acts reminds us that the tomb was empty so that we could be full, full of the Holy Spirit.

In Acts chapter 1 while Jesus is visiting with his apostles, he ordered them to not leave Jerusalem until the promised Holy Spirit comes. Even though Jesus would not be walking and ministering with them, God was sending them someone who would be walking and ministering with them.

This lesson is not just for the apostles! We too can be full of the Holy Spirit. Have you ever stopped to reflect on just how important the Holy Spirit is in your life? For me personally, the Holy Spirit is the only reason I can actually be a pastor. God does not call the equipped, rather He equips the called. If Samantha had her way, she would have a job that does not require interacting with people. But God, called Samantha to share His love with everyone she encounters.

While Samantha would like to avoid people, Captain Samantha continually puts herself in situations that require her to interact with others. God did not call me to be a pastor because I loved being around people and talking to people. Rather, it is the Holy Spirit working in me that puts me into situations where I have to talk to and interact with others.

Another important component of Act chapter 1 is verses 10 and 11. After Jesus ascended unto heaven, the apostles stood there gazing into heaven. The apostles had to be visited by two men in white, to remind them that they needed to do more than just stare into heaven. Often times we see God working and we keep it to ourselves, much like the apostle wanted to just stare into heaven. Rather, we need to be sharing what God is doing. How else with others see God working, if we are not sharing what we see Him doing?

A lot of times we see people requesting prayer for health, personal situations, guidance, recovery, deliverance, and so on. But how many times do we see the praises of those prayers? This is the same reminder the apostles needed that day, when you see God working you need to share it with others.

The tomb was not empty just to show the power of God. The tomb was empty so that God’s power could come in the form of the Holy Spirit and dwell in each and every one of us if we are willing. The tomb was empty so that we could be walking talking testimonies for God.

I have shared this with my church, and I want to share this with you too: how many non-believers will read the Bible? Very few, right? Now, how many non-believers will see the light of the Holy Spirit living in you? We are the only Bible that many non-believers will ever read.

The tomb was empty so that you could be full of the Holy Spirit and spread the Gospel through what you say and do. You are a walking talking testimony!


By Capt. Samantha Lockard

Your pastor speaks

The writer is a pastor and assistant corps officer with the Salvation Army Sidney/Shelby County.