"He is not here, but He has risen Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,Luke 24:6(NASB)
We are so familiar with the glorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus, through which we who believe have received His resurrected life, that we often lose the poignancy of the event. The grief-stricken women who loved their Lord so deeply and had witness Christ's excruciating punishment and death, had been prevented from anointing His body due to religious restrictions.
Many tears must have flowed since His death.. as the annual Feast of Passover was celebrated. Bewilderment must have flooded each distraught heart, for they had expected their Messiah to set up the promised earthly kingdom, about which He had been teaching for so long - and suddenly their lives were thrown into confusion, perplexity and anguished sorrow - and like all Christ's disciples this little group of women were numb with pain.
But their hurting hearts and the hungry love they had for their Saviour caused certain women to rise early in the morning, while it was still dark.. and hurry to the tomb to anoint His body with sweet perfume - but how their love was rewarded when they heard those earth-shattering words.. He is not here, but He has risen. Don't you remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee?
They had not understood that a grain of wheat had to fall into the ground and die if it is to give life to many other grains of wheat. He had already told them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation - that He would be handed over to the elders, the chief priests and teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and after three days rise again.
They had forgotten that the Son of Man had talked of His death and resurrection while they were still in Galilee. The did not remember that He was to be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, just like the prophet Jonah.. nor had they understood His meaning when He said: destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But their night of weeping turned in a morning of great joy. The bitter trial they underwent was momentary but the recompense they received was eternal life - as it is for all who trust in His sacrificial work and glorious resurrection.
We who are His body are similarly called to undergo much sorrow and humiliation for the Lord. Christ identified with us in His death so that we are identified with His glorious resurrection. We are called to fellowship in His suffering here on earth, which often causes us confusion, perplexity, anguish and sorrow - but never forget that the joy of the resurrected Lord is our strength.. and often the darkest winters we are called upon to endure.. turn into the brightest summer imaginable. Let us learn the many lessons that pain can bring for I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Heavenly Father, thank You that Christ died for my sins and rose again third day. Thank You that You identified with my sinfulness so that I could identify with Your resurrected life. I pray that all the confusion, perplexity, anguish and sorrow I am called upon to face will bring forth the fruit of righteousness to Your praise and glory - in Jesus name I pray, AMEN
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