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 into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Luke 24:1-7 (NIV)
Depression hung on them like a bitter aftertaste. Jesus is dead. Their feet dragged with disappointment and disillusionment. Jesus is dead. Duty called for them at the tomb to anoint His body. Jesus is dead.
Luke 24:1-12 shows us a group of dejected women dragging themselves dutifully to the rock cave supposedly housing the dead remains of Christ. Someone had to embalm Him. So these faithful women summoned the courage and ingredients to prepare Him for the grave. I’m guessing they were numb with grief, putting one foot in front of the other to do what had to be done.
Can you summon your faith when you feel lifeless? These women did. Jesus is gone. Or far away, or whatever. Has life shattered your hope? Do you feel your future in uncertain? Are you in despair concerning your health or your finances? Those are the times when you decide who you are and what you really believe in. You are being prepared for something more.
The women discovered an empty tomb–Christ’s body gone. They surely felt shock and perhaps anger. Where’s Jesus? Imagine going to the mortuary to say goodbye to your dead grandfather and before the funeral, you open the casket to look at him and the casket is empty. I doubt that resurrection would be the first thing coming to mind.
Back at the tomb the women burst in and as their eyes adjust in the dark cave an abrupt light erupts. Two men clothed with lighting flash into the cave. Trust me when I tell you they didn’t beam down from a spaceship. God the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and He left two angelic witnesses to explain. The heavenly creatures said in Luke 24:5, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
Really? Yes, really. Just like Jesus said in Galilee, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Jesus showed us the meaning of life–overcome the worst trial, suffer the cruelest torture, reduced to the deepest hell and rise victorious over it all. Hallelujah! Where’s Jesus? Above it all.
Author Brennan Manning writes, “The French Easter liturgy says, ‘L’amour de Dieu est folie’–the love of God is foolishness. And Jesus says it is foolishness that is meant to bring forth joy.”
Your dark places cannot keep you from the love of God. With your faults and failures buried in Christ’s tomb by faith, a new life awaits you. The habits and mindsets that have kept you bound with grave clothes are no match against the power of the Holy Spirit to raise you to victory. Faith invites the Wind of God to breathe on your lifeless self and resurrect something new. Make every day a new Easter of joy.
Dave Holland pastored churches for 38 years before retiring in Destin. He recently released his new devotional-Bible study based on the Gospel of Luke titled “Extraordinary Jesus: Ignite Your Season of Miracles.” You can get a copy of this book from his website, DaveHolland.org, or at Amazon.com. Pastor Dave is available to preach and teach in churches and conferences. Contact him at DavidvHolland54@gmail.com.