24 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. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 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? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 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.
Separated from this incident by thousands of years, and with the benefit of the whole story, it is easy for me to think, “hey guys, Jesus told you exactly what was going to happen, how on earth did you miss it?!” Were the followers of Jesus deaf? What stopped them from understanding him? I think the same thing that prevents me today from recognising God’s hand in the midst of a difficult or overwhelming situation… I become focused on my difficulty, on what is not happening, on how things are uncomfortable for me. I draw inward, rather than focusing on God. I need to keep my eyes fixed on God no matter the circumstance, to declare that my God is in complete control, to look for where He is at work, and to get some of His perspective. We need to look for the next part of the story, for the victory that God brings, if not in this life, then for all eternity.
We also have an advantage, whereas at this point the disciples were yet to receive the Holy Spirit, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, giving us spiritual insight. In some ways the disciples were spiritually blind, they weren’t yet attuned to the ways of God, but we are.
In reading this passage we are assured that there is nothing, no pain, no despair, that God cannot redeem. Jesus was dead. All hope was lost. BUT God wasn’t finished. His great handiwork was in what He did next!
Written by Beth Waugh