Luke 24:1-12 – An Empty Tomb

Easter lily against black background

Read Luke 24:1-12

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

I love how Luke’s version of this magnificent story puts the women at the tomb. After all, the last scene closed with them preparing the burial spices and then waiting. They must have been longing for more time with their friend, Jesus, even if he was no longer alive.

I have often wondered what would have happened if Jesus had not defeated death. The tomb would have been sealed, and the women would have had to deal with Roman officers to let them in. That’s the scene they were anticipating. Instead, they see the stone rolled away. “Who had gotten there first?” they must have thought.

Can you even fathom the emotions these women must have been feeling? We read that they were puzzled and then terrified. The morning they were prepared for certainly took an unexpected turn. Their grief turned to relief followed by incredulous joy. They just had to share this news with the others!

Do you think they were ever curious about how they could have forgotten such an important thing? Had their extreme grief been blinding them from remembering such a truth? The men in dazzling white, presumably angelic beings sent by God as messengers, couldn’t have appeared at a better moment to bring Jesus words rushing back. Do you think they had been waiting in the empty tomb wondering who would be the first to arrive?

An empty tomb would have been puzzling. That surprise could quickly turn to anger if they thought, “where had Jesus’ body been taken?” God’s messengers said the perfect thing to help the women understand. From the way the women responded, the appearance of those men must have been quite something. Describing the glory of God is hard to do because it is just that magnificent.

The women believed. They had seen. But when the women arrived to tell the others, the response they received was not what they figured. The text says, “the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it.” How would you have felt in that moment when the others all but called you “crazy?”

Thankfully, Peter’s curiosity got the best of him. He had to see for himself. When he arrived at the tomb, he found it just as the women had explained. The men in bright clothes weren’t there to remind Peter of what Jesus had told them would happen. If they had only remembered, they wouldn’t have needed a trip to the tomb. They would have simply waited for Jesus to return from the dead.

Are there things Jesus has told you, Bible truths, that you have forgotten? There are for me. Each time I read the Bible, I have an “a-ha moment.” I like to share some of those with my readers of this blog and the book series, Devotions on the Go!

If they’d only remembered what Jesus promised, no matter how crazy it may have sounded, their grief could have been lessened. It went beyond grief for many. I can imagine other emotions would be feeling abandoned and alone, feeling unsure of the future, or being afraid of what the Romans or even the religious leaders would do. Jesus had given them solutions to all of that! If they had only remembered.

Easter is a day for us to remember over and over again. It never gets old to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and victory over death. Take time today to rejoice and be glad. Worship the risen King. Hallelujah!

colorful animation of prayer hands and hearts and flowers

Let’s pray …

Lord, thank you for the cross and the empty tomb. Hallelujah! I can’t begin to fathom the extent of your mighty power. And yet you love me. I am humbled. I bow down. I worship my Savior! Help me not to let the high point of Easter fade away. I long to grow closer to you every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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