Discipleship Minute – Luke #18

Read Luke 24:1-12.

The many confrontations between Jesus of Nazareth and the religious leaders of His day led to His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Jesus’s death at the hands of the Romans, professional executioners themselves, settled the matter, those religious leaders thought. A prominent member of the council, Joseph of Arimathea, requested the body of Jesus to prepare and place in tomb.

The mood of the women was probably subdued and sad as they approached the tomb on the first day of the week. They expected to find a closed tomb, instead the women found an empty tomb. Two men who were dressed in gleaming clothes met them. Their statement to the women had three parts.

First, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” The women had seen Jesus die and placed in a tomb. However, the two angels had challenged the assumptions that the women had made.

Second, “He is not here, but He has risen!” The work of God Himself was the only explanation for the empty tomb. We don’t know the tone that the angels used, but it must have been one of rejoicing.

Third, they called on the women to remember Jesus’s words. What happened to Jesus, His betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection had been “necessary.” All of these things had happened to fulfill God the Father’s plan for salvation for sinful humanity. Jesus had made at least five times in the gospel accounts that He would die and rise again.

It was then that the women remembered the words of Jesus. The disciples to whom they had reported the morning events regarded their words as nonsense.

What difference does the resurrection of Jesus make? Peter, when he ran to the tomb found it empty and marveled at the sight. Today, the evidence given by the sources allow us to say that the best explanation is the Jesus really rose from the dead. If Jesus rose from the dead, we can follow Him with assurance that His claims and promises are true and secure. We can say that, “He is risen indeed!”

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