The women found the empty tomb – not the disciples, not the guards, not royalty, but the lowly women who loved Christ. Mary, his mother, Mary Magdalene, Salome, and the other Mary found the tomb empty. Angels met the women to tell them that “Jesus has risen, He is not here.” Luke 24:6.
Over the past several weeks, I have been pondering what the disciples’ thoughts and emotions might have been during these events. Those of you who know me, know that I have focused most on Mary, Jesus’ Mother, and how she must have felt at the cross. My thoughts about the disciples, as I have studied, is that they were so confused and afraid for their lives. They had given up everything to follow this man, they believed Him to be Lord and now it appeared that all He had promised was wrong. Failure and fear surrounded them as they hid. But the women came running to them claiming that the tomb was empty and that Jesus had risen. Peter goes running to the empty tomb… “Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” Luke 24:12. John 20:9 tells us that “the disciples saw the empty burial clothes, but they still did not understand from scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.” More confusion and misunderstanding, doubts and fear, what could this all mean?
I wonder if I really understand what the empty tomb means today, what it meant that Jesus had to die and then rise from the dead for me. Just like the disciples, I so often wonder what God is doing and the way He is doing it – I too am afraid and don’t understand. The disciples had to wait until Jesus appeared to them to fully comprehend what had happened John 20:19-30. There are some days, I feel Christ’s presence with me so intensely that I know He is risen – and there are other days I cower in fear that God’s promises are not true for me.
But today as I celebrate my risen Lord, the empty tomb and the promises it brought; I claim the same breathe that Christ breathed on his disciples (John 20:22) bringing the Holy Spirit and enjoy the forgiveness of my sins that He offers. I, along with Thomas, put my hands into His side and stop doubting and believe.
Easter has come and grace has been given. I am forgiven. I believe.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15