Events can be explained in different ways but when God provides an explanation, he is to be believed.
Luke 24:1 – 12
Jesus has risen
24 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.
It is hard to identify with the bewilderment experienced by the women who came to Jesus’ tomb. It was a unique experience! They were there for the simple but solemn task of anointing his body with spices and oils, which was part of the burial customs of the time. There was no body which must have been shocking enough, but things escalated when two men in shining clothes, that is, angels, appeared to them. As they were trying to come to terms with that, they are asked a question. “Why are you seeking the living among the dead?” It is a brilliant way of introducing the resurrection because they thought they were seeking a dead person among the dead.
Next came the announcement, “He is not here; he has risen!” This is quickly followed by a reminder to them that Jesus had told them what would happen. He would be crucified and then rise again. The women, we are told, remembered that Jesus had said this. What we are observing in these women is an awakening faith. They had a trust in Jesus, that is why they followed him. Now through the word of God and the mighty acts of God their faith was becoming focused and stronger. The puzzling event of the absent body was not enough to bring faith, only bewilderment. It is the word of explanation that makes all the difference. The body was not stolen, nor had it disintegrated, the word from God was “he has risen.” Even before they could wrestle with that thought the reminder, that Jesus had spoken of this, consolidated the matter for them.
The same applies to all of us. We can know of the empty tomb, but it is when we accept God’s explanation of it that we can believe. It is the common sequence, events, God’s word explaining events and faith based on what we hear. The word of explanation spoken by Jesus, speaking before the event, of what would happen makes it easier for us to understand, and then believe.
The women react with an expected excitement and they rushed to tell the others. Like many others who have come to faith in Christ since that day, they were thought to be speaking nonsense. Why? Because the others either did not accept that the event had taken place, that Jesus body was not in the tomb, or they did not believe the interpretation from God that he has risen. The account of the women should have been enough for them and Jesus later rebukes them for their hardness of heart and slowness to believe. They, perhaps like us, needed a longer process than was required for these women. It begins for Peter when he runs to the tomb and confirms that the body was not there.
Jesus has defeated death for his people by rising again. The call to all of us is to entrust our lives to him. The evidence is there for us. The word from God is clear and there is no end of supporting matters to help us. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
Head: Listen to the Lord’s message to you and acknowledge he speaks the truth.
Heart and Hands: Let the truth of God dominate your life.
Prayer: Father, we thank you for the words spoken at the time of Jesus’ resurrection. Help us to live in the light of the truth and know the perfect peace that comes from Christ alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
A song to listen to: Cornerstone
Living Church – Creek Road