Read Luke 23 -- 24
In Today’s Reading:
Jesus before Pilate and Herod; His crucifixion and resurrection; ministry of the risen Christ; His commission; His ascension.
Some of the women who were followers of 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. That day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. . . . 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 already vanished.
Matthew recorded the terror experienced by the Roman guards who were 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. When they entered in, [they did not find] the body of the Lord Jesus. . . . 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: remember how He [spoke to] you when He was yet 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 24:3-7). The message was clear -- He had fulfilled His Word. Excitedly, the women rushed to the disciples to relate their discovery. Instead of the sorrowful experience of finding the scourged, lifeless body of their Lord, these women discovered new hope and pure joy in a living Savior.
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, continue to move forward in faith and you 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 in death, even though a hostile crowd had crucified Him. Our genuine love for the Lord Jesus and His Word will overcome temptations to draw back when we face opposition. And our love and loyalty will continue to be expressed as we respond to opportunities to serve Him.
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. God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Thought for Today: God is merciful to all who ask.
23:5 Jewry = the Judean region; 23:19 for . . . sedition = for having started a riot; 23:23 instant = insistent or persistent; 23:29 paps = breast; 23:32 malefactors = criminals, ones who do evil; 24:29 far spent = almost over.
For Luke 23:30: See Hos. 10:8. Luke 23:34: See Psa. 22:18. Luke 23:46: See Psa. 31:5.
Pray for the President · Country: Bulgaria (9 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Bulgarian and ethnic languages · Newly opened to evangelism · 62% Eastern Orthodox; 10% Muslim; 1% Roman Catholic; less than 1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: If we ask anything agreeing with His will, He both hears and answers (I John 5:14-15).
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:16