Reading: Luke 24:1-12
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again. Then they remembered His words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.
Reflection Here we see another example of the faithfulness and dignity of the women who had watched faithfully at the foot of the cross. They rose early on the first day of the week to pray and honour their Lord. They went to the tomb where they thought he lay. They brought with them the best spices that they had prepared to anoint his body. Imagine their sense of shock and disbelief when they discovered that he was not there. How could this have happened? Where was their beloved Lord? What would they do now? Their sense of fear must have deepened when men appeared and spoke to them. Who were these men? Had they taken the Lord away? So many awful things had happened in recent days; the theft of their Lord was too awful to contemplate. They must have been numb with disbelief at all they were experiencing, not knowing how to respond to this awful reality that was now overtaking them. Imagine their delight on hearing that the Lord had risen as promised (Luke 18:33) He had been put to death by sinful men but the power and glory of God had raised him from the dead. The women were now challenged to look beyond death to new life and were offered hope. Their beloved Lord was alive as promised. The women shared this wonderful news with the apostles – the chosen of the Lord but the apostles would not believe them. The women stood firm in their belief and told Peter who was more open to their message; he went to the tomb with them and discovered that Jesus had risen. He was amazed.
As I pray through this passage of scripture I ask myself the following questions:
Do I rise early in the morning to spend time in prayer?
Do I reserve the ‘best spices’; fruits of kindness or good works to honour the Lord?
Do I look for Jesus in the wrong places and not recognise him in the scriptures and in the breaking of the bread?
Do I stand firm when others question my belief in Jesus?
Prayer I ask for the grace to turn away from sin, to believe Christ’s words of promise to all people in scripture, to be ever grateful for Christ’s resurrection over death, Amen.