Read: Luke 24:1-12
Finally, the event that overshadows all events in history: Jesus is resurrected! The course of the world is changed from this point forward. Luke provides words that are beyond amazing:
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Luke 24:5-6
The women came with spices to anoint the body of their beloved friend. They waited as Jewish law forbid they do any work on the Sabbath, let alone touch a dead body. They came in reverence, with great sorrow and humility. The weight of the past few days was heavy on them.
To me, it feels like a train wreck. One moment we were barreling down the tracks, rocking gently as the wheels clacked against the rails then SLAM! Into the mountainside. Crushed. Derailed. Stopped.
To have some inkling of what it must have felt like for these women, my mind wanders into that space of complete despair. From this perspective, the words of angels a great and amazing indeed!
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. Luke 24:6-8
Then they remembered. Like cold water splashing across your tired face, they woke up!
Yes, they were there with Jesus when He said these things. These women are honored above all as the first to come to the realization that what He said would happen has indeed happened!
They go tell the disciples, the eleven, but it’s impossible to believe. I don’t think this is from a condescending perspective, they knew these women, had been doing ministry with them for months, the disciples were still in shock.
But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Luke 24:11
I’ve never experienced shell-shock, but I understand the concept. An explosion goes off close enough to you that you are temporarily disoriented, unable to process information. That’s my understanding of what the disciples felt.
Then there’s Peter. The one who began mourning for Jesus before the crucifixion, already in deep darkness because of his denials. Peter seized the moment:
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 24:12
I love the way Luke paints this picture. Peter is scratching his head, what happened? He wants desperately to believe in that which makes no sense at all. Oh, Jesus, please don’t leave me hanging here for too long!! Show yourself to me!
Luke teases us by writing the Road to Emmaus story before answering Peter’s question, so we’ll have to wait for a bit to get beyond this moment.
This concluding remark is worth reading a few times:
The resurrection was not created by the church; rather, the church was created by the resurrection. See NIVAC below.
The resurrection of Jesus is the defining difference between Christianity and the religions of the world. It is incredible and impossible to believe except by faith.
Lord give us the faith to believe in the impossible, the improbable, the undeniable power of Your work in the world today. Wake us up out of the foggy sleep that holds us back from seeking the lost, the lonely, the least in this world. Fill us with the assurance that You did what You said You would do. Help us to get a tiny foothold on this concept:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12
NIVAC: Wilkins, Michael J.; Garland , David E.; Bock, Darrell L.; Burge, Gary M.; Fernando, Ajith. NIVAC Bundle 6: Gospels, Acts (The NIV Application Commentary) (Kindle Locations 56014-56015). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.