WHO WOULD BELIEVE IT?
Lord, thank You for defeating death for us.
Read LUKE 24:1–12
Jesus Has Risen
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, / Praise to thee by both be given, / Thee we greet triumphant now, / Hail the Resurrection, thou” (Charles Wesley, 1707–1788).
No one has expected the resurrection except Jesus himself. In his final act of obedience he has put himself in his Father’s hands, trusting that he would be raised. None of the disciples has understood, even with the angels’ reminder that Jesus had told them of it in advance. The women expect to complete funeral arrangements, not to encounter angels. The men refuse to believe the women because their testimony makes no sense. Peter wants to investigate. The point is not their lack of faith or understanding, but rather the radical and unexpected nature of the resurrection. Jesus is now once again among “the living” (5). Death has been defeated. The innocent one has been vindicated. His claims are true. His words are trustworthy. Their discipleship has not been in vain. But it would take time for all of this to sink in.
In the verses which follow, the disciples meet Jesus face to face. They can no longer doubt the fact of his resurrection, but what about its meaning? It is worth stopping to consider why Luke describes their initial experience of fear and disbelief before their understanding can grow.
The significance of the resurrection is so revolutionary that even with the full testimony of the New Testament we can easily make too little of it. It is not just the evidence that Jesus’ sacrifice for sin has been effective that is significant. It is not just that we serve a living Lord that is significant. It is not just death’s defeat and the promise that we also will be raised that is significant. The resurrection changes the future of the world. The new creation begins with Christ’s risen body. This radical and unexpected event—God’s surprising act in the midst of human history—is the basis of hope, whatever the situation in which we find ourselves. The risen Christ is the hope of all.
The resurrection should change the way we see everything. It secures the future and puts all our short-term hopes and fears into perspective.
Lord, I believe that You have been raised from the dead for my justification in order that I may lack nothing for entrance into heaven.