by D. James Kennedy (“Message from an Empty Tomb” – CBA)
For many centuries the men and women in Europe looked out upon the western sea, what we call the Atlantic Ocean, and they saw the sun coruscating upon the glittering surface of the waters and they wondered.
They wondered if there was anything beyond. Scholars said that you could sail off the edge of the world – there was nothing out there at all. In fact, inscribed on the escutcheons of the coat of arms of the nation of Spain was its national motto, Ne Plus Ultra, meaning, “There is nothing beyond.”
One day Columbus went westering on the shiny waters. He sailed off into the sunset as people waited expectantly, and finally after a long time the sails reappeared and the crowds were exultant. They shouted with joy, and Columbus announced that there was a land beyond the sea that was rich beyond their dreams. It was a glorious paradise. The king of Spain changed the motto of that land until it reads as it does today, Plus Ultra, meaning, “There is more beyond.”
For many centuries innumerable people stood beside the dark hole that we call a grave and watched the remains of their loved ones lowered into the earth, and they wondered: Beyond the dark waters of death, is there anything beyond?
Then one day, a young explorer went westering into the setting sun and descended into the blackness of the pit. He sailed off the edge of the world and crashed into hell. People waited expectantly. Finally on this Resurrection morning, as the sun arose in the east, the Son of God stepped forth from a grave and declared, “There is something beyond. There is a paradise beyond your greatest expectations. And there awaits a heavenly Father, waiting with outstretched arms to wipe away every tear from your cheek.”