Scripture: Luke 23:44-24:12
4 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
Jesus Has Risen
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Observation: This story sends chills down my spine. In a good way. This could be the single most important story in our history. The whole reason we call ourselves Christians and put our hope in Jesus. He rose from the dead, just as He said he would!
The other day I had a conversation with someone who said they were reading about the Isrealites and how they kept breaking God’s commandments and sinning against Him. The thought was, “how stupid were these people?”, until the thought struck him, “wait a minute, I do that all the time”. This story is also about us. Can we see this with the Apostles in this story? As the women told them of what they saw at the tomb, they didn’t understand. Thought it was nonsense. And we sit here reading this thinking, “how dense were these guys?” Jesus told them this is exactly what would happen. But for so many, we have the truth right in front of us, we have the truth explained to us, we can see the incredible world around us that could not have been made by chance. I lived this reality for so many years, how dense was I? Why did it take so long for me to see the truth? Praise God He does not give up on us!! Praise God for people like these women who had so much faith to tell the story to the Apostles. Just like the people that had so much faith in God, that they prayed for me when I was still lost.
Application: This really convicts me today. Jesus died for me. People prayed for me for my eyes to be opened and my heart to soften. For years. Do I have that much patience and endurance for people? Do I give up if it seems hopeless to pray for someone? My challenge of today is to never give up praying. Let God do the rest.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this story in your Word. You died for us and rose from the grave, just as you said you would. You did this for me and each one of us reading this right now. Thank you for your sacrifice and the pain you endured for us. And thank you for the empty grave, so that we may know and have that assurance that we, too, will someday follow you into heaven. God help me today to remember those that are still lost, and help me to remember to pray for them and never give up. Thank you in Jesus name, amen.