Read Luke 24:1-12
As we read the Easter account we naturally focus on the empty tomb. Our attention is drawn to this scene. But as that happens, we risk missing the most important thing.
Here we are rushing to the place where Jesus was buried as if He were still there. We are taking our perfumes and our reverence to God – to the one who was afflicted and died… it’s as though we concur with the view of the majority that Jesus had failed, that He was destined to suffer and die in this world; that evil and sin are stronger than good and truth. In doing so, we are showing that we don’t have faith; we have perfumes. That is all we can give to our Lord.
But He surprises us yet again. He is not among the dead. He doesn’t need our tears; He wants to give us joy. He is a winner, not a loser.
How can this be? We saw him among the dead! We know the power of death and its relentless laws. But now we are told, “He is not here; he has risen.” (Luke 24:6)
We don’t believe our eyes or our ears, even though the angels aren’t saying anything new. They are simply reminding us about what we heard from Jesus before. “Remember how he told you?”
And then we remember his words. And when we remember them, we don’t stay at the empty tomb. Despite our unbelief, we rush to share the joyful news with the apostles. It was only Peter who ran to the tomb to check if the strange rumors were true.
But even the empty tomb doesn’t make us believers. No arguments or facts are able to open our eyes to the obvious miracle. We know that scams and manipulations are everywhere.
Only the words of Jesus bring back the gift of faith, restore our empty hearts, and open our personal tombs to new life. Not only did he predict that “they will condemn him to death” and “on the third day he will be raised to life” (Mathew 20:18-19), but he said much more, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25).
Sometimes we get so carried away by the events or emotions in it all that we forget Jesus’ words. And without His living words, we lose direction and understanding of what’s going and yield to human emotions and passions. And then even things that are obviously miracles are not convincing.
But for those who remember the words of Jesus, the future will never be scary or strange. They know that suffering and death will be short-lived in light of the Resurrection and eternal life.
When we are in despair, when the enemy is triumphant, when everyone talks about death, may the words of Jesus come to life and restore our faith. Nothing unusual or irreversible happened. He said that penalty and death would come to pass. But they will be followed by the Resurrection.
Remembering that, let us not waste time at the empty tomb.
Let us rush to share this joyful news with those who are sorrowful and confused.
Let us remember the words of Jesus, believe them and live by them.
His words are more important than common sense, the opinion of the majority, or even the most obvious of facts.
Jesus is the Lord over life and death.
Everything will be exactly as He had said and no other way.
Recall and don’t cry. Recall and don’t be afraid. Recall and don’t forget.
1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.
5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, Why do you seek the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,
7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
8 And they remembered his words,
9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles,
11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.