How often does it happen that we think God isn’t doing anything, or at least not what we want him to do, then find out that he’s actually doing something amazing that we just weren’t seeing? Jesus’ resurrection is the greatest example of that, as the women who went to his tomb and his other disciples experienced a full range of emotions from despair to confusion to joy. Let’s walk with them this week as we ponder their experience that first Easter morning.
|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. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 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? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 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. Luke 24:1-12
Monday: The women, desiring to give Jesus a proper burial, prepared spices to anoint his dead body. Put yourself in their place and imagine how deep their grief and despair must have been, ever since his death on the cross.
Tuesday: Jesus wasn’t there! Imagine the women’s confusion and upset when it seemed even his body was gone. Ponder the fact that, like the women, we can misinterpret what we see, and God may actually be working in marvelous ways that we can’t yet comprehend.
Wednesday: When the angels told the women what had happened, they remembered Jesus’ words and believed. Ask God to help you be open to the truth, no matter how inexplicable it may seem and how frightening or disturbing the message might be.
Thursday: Imagine how overwhelmed and excited the women must have been and eager to share the good news. Ask God to so fill you with faith and resurrection joy that you are bursting to share this good news with others.
Friday: The disciples didn’t believe at first, because they considered the women’s words nonsense. Do you ever dismiss a message or evidence without even evaluating it, because you don’t consider the messenger reliable? Pray for the humble attitude needed to receive truth openly.
Saturday: Peter, who had recently denied Jesus while depending on his own strength, was now open to learning. Allow your doubts, questions, and even failings to motivate you to seek truth and to ponder the evidence for Christ deeply.
|How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7