Luke 23 -- 24
Some of the women who had followed Jesus watched as He died on the cross and then watched as the body of their Lord was hastily laid in the rock-hewn tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. . . . And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath Day according to the commandment (Luke 23:54-56). Upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning (24:1), on their way to the tomb these women wondered: Who will roll away the stone from the door of the sepulchre (tomb)? . . . for it was very great (Mark 16:3-4). They soon discovered that their difficulty had vanished.
Matthew recorded the great earthquake and the terror which the guards experienced who had been assigned to watch the sealed tomb when an angel of the Lord . . . rolled back the stone . . . and sat upon it (Matthew 28:2,4). Later the women came to the tomb to complete the burial procedures; but, when they entered in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And . . . as they were much perplexed (wondered what to do), . . . behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. . . . They (the men) said to them, Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen (Luke 24:3-6). The message was clear -- He had fulfilled His Word. Jesus had said: I have power to lay it (My Life) down, and I have power to take it again (John 10:18). The two men went on to say: Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, Saying, The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise (from death) again (Luke 24:6-7). Excitedly, the women rushed to the disciples to relate their discovery. Instead of the sorrowful experience of finding the scourged body of their Lord, these women discovered new hope and pure joy in an empty tomb.
There are often "impossible" problems for the one who is seeking to serve the Lord. In our human weakness, we are prone to doubt how we will overcome such situations, and often we are tempted to ask: Who will roll back the stone? But, as we continue to move forward in faith and loving service, we will be amazed at how the hindrances are "rolled away." We too have angels that go before us: Angels . . . Are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:13-14).
The women had no thought of deserting their Lord, whom they loved, even though a hostile crowd had crucified Him. Our genuine love for the Lord and His Word will overcome temptations to draw back when we face opposition. Our love will triumph over society's temptations and hatred. And our love and our loyalty will continue to be expressed as we respond to opportunities to serve the Lord.
Neither the women, nor the doubting apostles, were expecting such a glorious experience on that resurrection morning. But God always has much better things in store for us than we think possible. The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him (who have made Him Lord of their lives), and delivers them (Psalms 34:7; see also 91:11).
For Luke 23:30: See Hos. 10:8. Luke 23:34: See Psa. 22:18. Luke 23:46: See Psa. 31:5.
BPM Staff: Rick Hash · Pray for Reverend G. Sam Jaya Prasadarao Gokanakonda, Gospel Outreach Ministries International; Telugu translator · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Dr. Cindy Perry · Country: Guinea-Bissau (1 million) on the western coast of Africa · Major languages: Portuguese and Criolo · Religious freedom · 51% animist; 42% Muslim; 6% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourself before the Lord (I Peter 5:5-6).
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