24 It was very early in the morning on the first day of the week. The women took the spices they had prepared. Then they went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from it. 3 When they entered the tomb, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 They were wondering about this. Suddenly two men in clothes as bright as lightning stood beside them. 5 The women were terrified. They bowed down with their faces to the ground. Then the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 Jesus is not here! He has risen! Remember how he told you he would rise. It was while he was still with you in Galilee. 7 He said, ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people. He must be nailed to a cross. On the third day he will rise from the dead.’ ” 8 Then the women remembered Jesus’ words. 9 They came back from the tomb. They told all these things to the 11 apostles and to all the others. 10 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them were the ones who told the apostles. 11 But the apostles did not believe the women. Their words didn’t make any sense to them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent over and saw the strips of linen lying by themselves. Then he went away, wondering 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