30 million people glued their eyes to their television screens for two hours, to find the answer to one question: what was in ‘Scarface’ Alcapone’s secret vault? A team of experts claimed to have found a lost hiding place of the notorious American gangster, and even more excitingly, a mysterious vault. What treasures lay inside? Gold? Jewels? A cache of weapons? Diaries from the gangster himself? A last will and testimony? The whole world would soon find out live on television!
Throughout the program, construction workers dug around the vault, carefully used explosives to make their way through the rubble, all to uncover what was inside. At the same time, the show’s host, Geraldo Rivera, was giving an extended history of the infamous gangster, building up the anticipation.
Then it finally happened. The last ad break rolled, and Geraldo stood in front of the vault. He brought his team together, and he looked into the camera and proclaimed, ‘we found nothing.’ The vault was empty.
On live television, with 30 million people watching, Geraldo had to admit that they had wasted their time, and that the vault was completely empty. It is one of the most cringey videos to watch ever. A defeated Geraldo says ‘I promised the critics that if we didn’t find anything, I’d sing a song.’ And so, holding back his tears, he sings ‘Chicago, chicago . . . alright, I’m gone. I’ll see ya. I’m sorry. Goodnight,’ and he awkwardly walks off the set. And as Geraldo does his walk of shame, a voice over shouts, ‘The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault was brought to you by Budweiser.’
Do yourself a favour, and make sure to watch the last 5 minutes of the documentary, to fully experience the cringe and awkwardness that is the empty vault. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgx7–A_NCU (Start at 1:28:22).
How often we are disappointed when there is nothing there. Our expectations are raised only for us to be let down.
The entire universe glued their eyes to a small little mote of dust in the cosmos, to discover the answer to one question: what was in the tomb? Three days ago, Jesus Christ, God Himself in human flesh, had paid the ultimate price of sin: death. Wanting so desperately for humanity to be spared from the punishment of their sin, Jesus took the penalty that humanity deserved and died on the cross. But, as Jesus body was buried in a tomb, so many questions arose. Would Jesus ever come back to life? How would Jesus even do that? What was the meaning of all of this? The entire universe would soon find out, in three days.
With each day, anticipation built up to discover what would happen to Jesus. His family and friends mourned the loss of someone they loved dearly. Jesus’ own mother had had to endure watching the son she gave birth to, die in the most shameful and agonising method of execution. Jesus’ disciples were confused as to how their teacher, leader and friend, had died. They believed he was going to set them free and lead them into a new age, and yet now he was dead.
Everything changed on the third day. A group of women, some of the closest friends in Jesus’ life went to visit the tomb of Jesus to properly embalm his body. But when they arrived at the tomb, they saw that the stone covering it had been rolled away. Confused and terrified, they ran into the tomb and found nothing. The tomb was empty.
As the entire universe watched this incredible turn of events, the women at the tomb began to weep, believing that someone had stolen the body of their friend. While most of the women ran away to go tell the disciples of Jesus what had happened, a young lady named Mary stayed at the tomb weeping, confused as to what was happening. As she looked up, she saw a figure in the distance. Unafraid to hold back her tears she called out in desperation, ‘please Sir, if you have taken away Jesus, tell me where you have put him, so I can properly bury him.’ As the figure triumphantly walked towards Mary, in a loving and touching voice he simply said one word: ‘Mary’.
With just that one word, Mary realised who it was she was talking to. It was Jesus! He had risen from the dead! He was alive! The tomb was empty because Jesus lived! Mary embraced Jesus, and Jesus would go on to meet his disciples again, revealing to each and everyone of them, that he was alive.
On that day, the angels proclaimed ‘he is not here, he is risen!’ Jesus not only conquered sin on the cross, but conquered death at his resurrection. And because Jesus has conquered death, he now has the authority to give eternal life to all those who believe in him.
Geraldo believe that his vault would have treasures beyond his wildest imaginations, but was left with bitter disappointment when he found the vault was empty. But every day I live, I am reminded of that empty tomb which has the greatest treasures of the entire universe in it; the tomb of my risen Saviour. Every day I know that Jesus lives, because the tomb is empty.
Do yourself a favour, and accept the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on your behalf. Accept the good news of the empty tomb and of eternal life today.
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my savior lives
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives
‘Because He Lives’ by William and Gloria Gaither