Read Luke 23

Highlights:

Jesus before Pilate and Herod; Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection; ministry of the risen Christ; His commission; the ascension.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre (Luke 24:2).

It was very early in the morning, reports Luke (Luke 24:1); when it was yet dark, says John (John 20:1); as it (the day) began to dawn says Matthew (Matt. 28:1); and at the rising of the sun wrote Mark (Mark 16:2). The women were walking toward the rock-hewn tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, in which the Body of Jesus had been hastily laid. Foremost on their minds was: Who shall roll away the stone from the door of the sepulchre (tomb)? (16:3).

Just as the women had no thought of deserting the Lord whom they loved just because the world had hated and crucified Him, our genuine love of the Lord will be unaffected by opposition. Love will survive the contentions and the hatred of a hostile society. It will continue to press forward to show its loyalty and eagerness of service, not waiting for the last hour of necessity, but for the first hour of opportunity.

The disappearance of difficulties as we go on our way of faithful service reminds us of the Lord's assurance that we shall reap, if we faint not (Gal. 6:9), meaning don't give up. These women had been apprehensive about how they would get the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb (Mark 16:3). But as they continued toward the tomb to express their love, they found their difficulty had vanished (Luke 24:2).

Matthew records the shock of the great earthquake, and the terror which seized the guards who were watching the sealed tomb (Matt. 28:2-4) as an angel of the Lord. . . rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it (28:2). The women had come to the tomb to complete embalming procedures. They entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. . . . they were much perplexed when they saw two men . . . in shining garments . . . who said, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen (Luke 24:4-6). The women rushed to the disciples to relate their discovery.

Instead of a sorrowful experience, these women found an empty grave, a new hope, pure joy! This is the usual experience of the one who is seeking to serve the Lord.

Jesus saith unto Him, Go and do Thou like wise (Luke 10:37). And ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts: 1:8).

Thought for Today:

Each person must decide for himself whether to receive or reject Jesus as his own personal savior.

Cross References:

For Luke 23:30: See Hos. 10:8. Luke 23:34: See Ps. 22:18.

Word Studies:

23:5 Jewry, the Judean region; 23:19 for . . . sedition, for having started a riot; 23:23 instant, insistent or persistent; 23:29 paps, breasts; 23:32 malefactors, criminals, ones who do evil; 24:29 far spent, almost over.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Rick Hash • Pray for Government Officials: Gov. Luis Fortuno (PR) and Rep. John Barrow (GA) • Country: Bosnia and Hercegovina (4 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe • Major language: Serbo-Croatian • Little evangelism being done • 40% Muslim; 28% Serbian Orthodox; 14% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Confess and forsake all sin (Is. 59:12-13).

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:33-34