Verse of the Day Devotion. Luke 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.
In our last verse of the day, Jesus had been buried by Joseph of Arimathea. He laid Him in his own private tomb on Friday after Jesus’ crucifixion. They could not prepare His body for burial because Sabbath had come. “Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed after and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” Luke 23:55-56. However, now it is Sunday, the Sabbath has ended and they go to prepare His body.
When they arrive they were surprised at what they saw. “And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24:2-3. The stone that covered the tomb has been rolled away, which no doubt confused them. Then they entered the tomb and could not find the body of Jesus. Now while they were working through this, something remarkable happened. “And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, Why do you seek the living One among the dead?” Luke 24:4-5. These were angels that came to them. Mathew wrote, “And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.” Matthew 28:2-4. Now the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. And as they did, the angel said to them “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” Luke 24:5-7. They then remembered what Jesus had told them, and they left there and went back to the disciples to let them know what they had seen, that an angel declared Jesus had risen. The ladies that went back to tell the disciples were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James.
Now, when the disciples heard what the ladies said, they had a hard time believing. “And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.” Luke 24:11. And this is understandable, for opening their hearts to this possibility would have made them susceptible to additional disappointment if this were not true. But next we read, “But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at that which had happened.” Luke 24:12. Now, Peter did not go alone, but John joined him. “And so she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him. Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they were going to the tomb.” John 20:2-3. However, “So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb entered then also, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” John 20:8-9.
And finally, Jesus comes into the disciples presence. Thomas was not there when Jesus came at that meeting. Jesus shows them proof it was Him, and then breathes on them and they receive the Holy Spirit. Thomas comes to the next meeting and declares “Peace be with you. Then he turns to Thomas and says to him, reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing. Then Thomas believed, saying “My Lord and my God!” John 20:28. He then believed after He saw the wounds of Jesus.
In closing, there are two basic types of unbelievers. First, there are people who refuse to believe no matter the proof. This, many times, is because it would have a negative affect on their lives. This was the issue with the Jewish and Roman leadership. Then there are those who are open to believe but need help. The disciples desired but struggled with the seeming impossibility of the incident. Two of them went to see the tomb and reported back what they saw. Thomas heard but struggled, and only believed after seeing the wounds. Jesus made it plain that He was raising from the dead, and He also makes it clear He will return for His people. Let us go out and help those who want to believe understand the truth, and become followers of Jesus who will also arise and be with Him forever.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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