March 23: At the Empty Tomb

Read Luke 23:50-24:12 

During His ministry, Jesus had attempted to clearly communicate not only the reality of His death but also the hope of His resurrection. In many ways, it seems that it was not until the night before the crucifixion that the disciples began to understand as they ate with Him in the Upper Room (Jn. 13-16). But, even then, the reality of His death loomed large while the hope of the resurrection was overlooked. 

As Jesus took his last breath, there was no comforting voice in the crowd of onlookers saying, “This is terrible, but it is not the end. He will rise again!” In fact, every one of His disciples except John had fled during those critical hours. 

When His body was taken from the cross, two seemingly fringe men took it from there. To be sure, they demonstrated genuine care for the Messiah. And yet, even their concern was for the proper preparation of and entombment of His body. They did not seem to be placing Him there in anticipation of resurrection just three days later. 

Then, after the Sabbath, when the women came to the tomb, they came with still more spices. They were expecting to find a dead body that they could lovingly further embalm. Even when they discovered the stone rolled away and the body missing, the possibility of resurrection was not a first register thought for them. They were perplexed (v. 4) and even assumed that someone had taken His body (Jn. 20:1, 15). 

But He had risen! 

There is a lesson in the response of these men and women for us as well. These people were so fixated on the present tragedy of Christ’s death that they initially overlooked the promised hope of His resurrection. Do the discouragements of some of the realities of your life at times blind you to the hope-filled promises of God? 

May the resurrection of Jesus be proof of God’s faithfulness to His promises then and still today! 


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