Tuesday, April 7th

Tuesday, April 7th

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying." Matthew 28:5-6

As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law .... But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” Then they remembered that he had said this. Luke 23:55-56; 24:1-8

To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God .... But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Acts 1:3, 8-9

The Matthew and Luke passages above focus on the women who came to perform burial customs on the body of Jesus Christ. The crucifixion had been carried out, Jesus had died, the Sabbath had passed, and now they come to the tomb early on Sunday morning. The women came fully expecting to find the body of Jesus exactly as they had seen it when it was placed there on Friday. Instead they find the stone removed, the body missing, a couple of other-worldly men, and an overdose of perplexity and fear. The initial words of God's messengers cut through their reality to transition them for a new reality, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?" And then comes the announcement of the new reality, "He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!" God's messengers then remind them that ahead of time Jesus made an announcement to them that all of this would happen. We are told that they remembered.

We do not know why none of his followers seem to have any remembrance of the Christ's announcement up to this point. We would like to think that we would have remembered and that we would have been at the tomb first thing Sunday morning fully expecting to find the tomb empty and Jesus alive and well. But in all likelihood it would have been the same for us. We would have heard the announcement of the God's messengers and begun the journey to embracing the full outcome of the Resurrection. In the Acts passage above we see that his followers move from being told he is alive to seeing he is alive. They totally know that the resurrection is real but they do not yet totally know what it is for.

In essence it so that they can become an announcement to the world that Jesus is the Risen Savior and Lord. Jesus says in that Acts passage above that they will be his witnesses to the world after the Holy Spirit has come upon them. But this won't happen until Christ departs for heaven. We see that Christ departed and we know that the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2). It is at this point that Christ's followers entered into the full outcome of the resurrection. We understand from the overall teaching of Scripture that Jesus dwells in the hearts and lives of his followers through the Holy Spirit. It was said this way in yesterday's devotional: The full outcome of the resurrection is that we have a Risen Savior and Lord who dwells in the core of our being who invites us to "Come to him" over and over again for times of sweet communion with him where we know his presence, we enter his rest, we experience his peace, we enjoy his mercy and grace, and we find his help for all our needs.

As the reality that we walk with Christ in this kind of a relationship is seen by others we become an announcement to them that Jesus is alive and well. The difference he makes in out lives becomes evident as well. The powerful presence of Christ in us through the Holy Spirit wonderfully touches the lives of people around us and gives us opportunities to tell them about the "hope" within us, our Risen Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Lord, I am humbled to think that the full outcome of the resurrection is what my life is all about. Thank you that through my relationship with you, I am an announcement to the world that you are alive and well. Help me rest in the arms of your love and let you live your resurrection life in and through me. Here I am Lord for all that you are and want to be in and through me.

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