Let’s continue our journey in time, back to that first glorious Easter morning more 2000 years ago. When Mary, Mary, Salome, and the rest of their crew visited the tomb that Easter morning, they were saddened, upset, worried, and edgy. They had just lost their great and charismatic leader at the end of a bizarre but prophesized rollercoaster week. It actually started on a triumphant Palm Sunday, and ended with the execution of their leader by all the powerful ruling elements in their land. Would they be rounded up to endure a mock trial, persecution, and execution, also? What should they do next? Remember, they didn’t have the benefit of the completed book we do. They only had a promise of something that had never happened before.
So imagine their surprise when they see the stone already rolled aside. They had no idea what to make of the empty tomb. Thankfully, they met two angels who explained that Jesus was not there, but is risen. But they still didn’t believe and just thought the body was stolen. Then they ran to tell Peter and John, who were also perplexed (didn’t they read all the Old Testament prophecy?) and needed to come to the tomb to figure it out. Finally, inside the tomb, seeing the evidence of the wrappings, they believed. Mary even had to talk to Jesus outside the tomb to really get it.
I can’t understand their stupidity, ignorance, disbelief, and nearsightedness. Jesus performed so many miracles, talked of ruling His kingdom, raised Lazarus from the dead, and taught that He would rise from the dead in 3 days. Why were afraid, sad, and surprised instead of expectantly excited? Why were they fearful when they saw an empty tomb? Why weren’t they expecting it, rejoicing and happily guessing where they would see Him for the first time?
Stupid, thick, dim, mistrustful. Well, let’s get off our high horses. How often do we react the same way? Thinking God is limited like us, thinking He’s restricted to the same reality we are, means we’re not believing His promises and predictions either. We underestimate His power and knowledge multiple times each week. Well, I have no right to criticize Mary, Mary, the disciples and other followers, because I limit Jesus and God the same way they did.
My life has really changed since I realized He is bigger than me and that He will stand by His promises. Now I expect the awesome unexpected and so can you! Don’t put Him in a box.
Don’t think God is dormant in a tomb. He is at work in and around you … expect it, embrace it, and enjoy it. Thank God the tomb is empty. I hope you aren’t dismayed in your everyday trials, because God will show up. Remember, He didn’t rise from the dead immediately. He waited three days for a specific reason. So be patient. His timing is always better than yours.
Happy Easter from the Lighthouse Network staff. May His power over death give you boldness and courage as you advance against whatever trials and threats you are facing. Please go and wear His power on your sleeve so all, I mean all, will see your joy and His glorious victory over despair and death. Letting God be God, or putting God in a box is your decision, so choose well.
Thank You, Father, for Christ’s death and resurrection, which has given us power over sin’s grip and Satan’s schemes. Give me a heart that will love You even 1/1000 of what You love me. Keep Your promises and character fresh in my mind, so that I don’t put You in a box and limit my expectations and understanding of Your plan and power, especially during times of uncertainty. I pray You grant the Stepping Stones readers eyes that see Your awesome plans for them and trust to accept Your plan. In Christ’s powerful and magnified name; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40
for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. Mark 9:31
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” John 2:19-20