"AN EARLY MORNING SURPRISE "
April 16, 2017
On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb ... (Luke 24:1a).
Read Luke 24:1-12
The women don't waste a moment making their way to the tomb. In a climate where decay rapidly sets in on a corpse, they want to complete their work, while they can still handle Jesus' body. They needn't have hurried; God refused to give death any victory over His Son's body, including any hint of decay. Also, by the time they arrived, Jesus was already gone.
As they reached the tomb they found the stone rolled away. While the women are looking in, two angels appear as young men in the prime of life, wearing dazzling clothes. Immediately, the women are gripped with fear.
The angels point out the folly in what these women are doing: "Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen!" Then they remind the women of Jesus' predictions and the divine necessity behind His suffering. God's divine love for fallen humans required Jesus' suffering and death to remove our sins. They mention three essentials: Jesus had to be delivered into the hands of men, die by crucifixion, and rise again in glory.
At these words the women remember, quickly returning to report them to the 11 apostles, and the other believers with them. Peter sets out for the tomb, stoops down to look into it, and sees with his own eyes the linen bands, empty and undisturbed. Even with this clear evidence of Jesus' miraculous resurrection, Peter still isn't ready to accept it as truth. Instead, he goes away wondering exactly what has actually happened.
THE PRAYER: Almighty God, thank You for the joyous news of the angels: my Lord is risen! I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.