August 22; How is the Empty Tomb Fulfilling?
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Eight: Communication; 22 August

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him,

“Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!

But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish,

so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matthew 12:38-40

How is the Empty Tomb Fulfilling?

Invisible Visual

There is a crucifix in every classroom, which, I like to think, wonderfully concentrates the mind of the student.* Your Business Professor teaches at a Catholic university and will use the image to remind students that we are accountable to our family, our institution and to our Creator.

The Catholic Church has long used the iconic representation of Christ’s death on the cross.

The image is also easier to remind The Faithful of the Finished Work of the Messiah. This image reminds and sells (let’s not call it marketing).

The professional manager and individual contributor know that to sell an idea, it must be packaged to entice the unique buying habits of a particular customer.

No sign is given to the unbelieving sinner, that is to say: nothing.

Christ suffered, died and was buried. But the salvation story is made complete at Christ’s resurrection. An empty tomb is the only symbol.

But “nothing there” is a tough sell.

So the Cross, with its features, advantages and benefits can be experienced through the senses.

***

The icon of Christ Crucified is not a sign that would have helped the religious leaders at the time when Jesus was teaching and preaching. They would have been working with the wrong side of their brains, or so pop psychology tells us. The myth follows that the “left-brain” thinker is objective and analytical. A “right-brainer” would be more subjective and intuitive. (Cherry 2014)

The Pharisees would be the left-brain logicians of the law. They had already seen Jesus heal a blind man. They had witnessed a miracle. They might believe Jesus was the Messiah if they saw enough tricks. Maybe. Maybe they would believe in the magic but not the Man, the Christ.

The believer in the Risen Christ could be said to be a right-brain, thoughtful thinker. We cannot see Jesus, now at the right hand of God but we do have the empty tomb. The Christian can see what is not there. The unbeliever is blind.

***

This is how Dan Pink, former speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore, describes his experience of ‘negative space’ without making the Divine analogy. Pink writes with the eye of the new artist, in describing his crude, hand drawn self-portrait,

My lips don’t really look like that. Nobody’s lips look like that. I’ve drawn a symbol for lips…In a sense, I’ve merely written “lips” in modern hieroglyphics instead of truly seeing my lips and recognizing how they relate to the totality of my face…

When we draw portraits of our classmates later in the week, we begin by lightly shading our large piece of paper—and then erasing the part that’s not the outline our subject’s head in order to reveal it. “Negative space is a powerful drawing tool,” Bomeisler [his instructor] says, “It’s one of the secrets of learning how to draw.” (Pink 2005) p 132f

The only sign, the only symbol the unbeliever will be given is the empty tomb.

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:38-40

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*Apologies to the man of letters, Dr. Samuel Johnston (1709-1784), “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

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