Devotions for Luke 24:1-12–The Resurrection of Jesus
April 10-16, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017–The Resurrection of Jesus
“They came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared” (Luke 24:1).
Bonita stepped off the elevator for another day of work. She didn’t expect much. She’d spend most of the day at her desk shuffling through papers and answering the phone. Her job wasn’t exciting, but it paid the bills. Bonita was pleasantly surprised when her supervisor stopped at her desk and asked Bonita if she’d be willing to work on a special project. Bonita welcomed the change. Later in the day during a break, a co-worker confided in Bonita that she was struggling in her relationship with her teen-age son. Bonita had raised two rambunctious boys and was able to share some sage advice with her co-worker. Expecting only a “dead” day, Bonita was surprised at how lively it had become.
Several women gathered to walk to the tomb with the spices. They had not been able to prepare Jesus’ body for burial before the Sabbath. Now that the holy day was over, they were free to attend to their duties. Their steps were heavy as they journeyed to the tomb. The expected to encounter death. They had no idea of the surprises that were in store for them.
We can plod through life expecting to see death at every turn. As followers of Jesus, though, we have another option. Our God is a God of life and surprises. Today we live expectantly. We will discover life all around us and in the oddest places–even among the tombs.
Lord, grant us the ability to celebrate life rather than anticipate death. Amen.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017–The Resurrection of Jesus
“They found the stone rolled away” (Luke24:2).
What would you have done, if you had been with the women that morning? The stone was not where they had expected it to be. The entrance to the tomb was open. The women were faced with the unknown. If it was a grave robbery, the robbers might still have been in the tomb. They didn’t know if it was safe or if it was dangerous to enter the tomb. Despite the possible danger, they decided to enter the tomb—to take the risk.
Christians frequently talk about the Holy Spirit opening and closing doors. Janice had a door open to study for a semester in Israel. Clint’s knee injury closed the door on a promising career in the NFL. Open doors present some risk. We don’t know where they lead. They will lead to nowhere, though, if we don’t decide to face the uncertainty and possible dangers and walk through. We never know, there may be new life on the other side of the door.
Lord, give us the courage to be your faithfully obedient followers. Amen.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017–The Resurrection of Jesus
“When they went in they did not find a body” (Luke 24:3).
There are a multitude of “who done it” television series. Every episode begins with the discovery of a body. Once the body is discovered, a major part of the program is devoted to determining how the person died. Then the various detectives attempt to determine who committed the murder—always solving the crime in fifty-eight minutes.
When the women went into the tomb, they discovered that there was no body. They didn’t need to take the time to determine the exact cause of death—they already knew. Their efforts to determine who stole the body were thwarted by the two men in dazzling clothes. They announced to the women that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Jesus lived! With no body present, they were able to turn their attention from death to life. The women focused on discovering the answer to two questions, “How did Jesus conquer death?” and “How were they able to participate in this new life?” The answers they found transformed the world.
Lord, teach us to live life to its fullest—not for our sake but for your glory and the benefit of others. Amen.
Thursday, April 13, 2017–The Resurrection of Jesus
“The women were terrified” (Luke 24:5a).
We all understand what the women were feeling and experiencing. Fear is such a common human emotion. There are times when fears are well grounded and help to keep us safe. Fear of walking alone at night might cause us to wait to walk with a group of friends. Such a fear may have kept us from real harm. Many fears, though, limit our experience of life. Some people fear flying and limit themselves to ground transportation. They prevent themselves from experiencing faraway places and human diversity. Others are scared of crowds and imprison themselves in their home.
In response to the women’s fear, the angels did not command them to stop being afraid. Nor did the angels assure the women that there was nothing of which to be afraid. What the angels did do was to remind the women that Jesus had told them he would rise from the dead on the third day. The reason the women didn’t need to be afraid was because Jesus lives.
We live in a broken, scary world. Lie the women, we do not need to be afraid, though. We can live courageously (not the absence of fear, but overcoming the fear) because Jesus lives.
Thank you, Lord, that “we serve a risen savior who is in the world today.” Amen.
Friday, April 14, 2017–The Resurrection of Jesus
“Why do you look for the living among the dead” (Luke 24:5b)?
Lamar’s parents were concerned because he had started to hang around with a bad crowd. They knew that peer pressure was great and that Lamar’s new “friends” might lead him astray. At noon, Linda and five of her co-workers sat down and ate lunch together. Every day their conversation was similar–a list of complaints about everything in life. It was depressing. One afternoon, when Linda was feeling especially down, she realized that the luncheon conversation was affecting her outlook on life. Focusing on the bad blinded her from seeing the good.
Rarely is life found in the evening news or in the front page headlines of a newspaper. Nor is life found in complaining or criticizing. Life is found in an encounter with a living Lord–in the pages of Scripture and in the quite moments of prayer. We often discover life when we share and serve. Our response to our discovery is thanksgiving and praise. If we want to find life, it is necessary for us to look for it in the right places.
In a broken and dying world, Lord, help us find life and to share that life with others. Amen.
Saturday, April 15, 2017–The Resurrection of Jesus
“Returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest” (Luke 24:9).
Katlynn couldn’t wait to tell her family and friends that she had been accepted to the college that she really wanted to attend. Miguel rushed home to tell his wife that he had gotten the job. We have all experienced to times when we had good news that we wanted to share with others.
The women, who had gone to the tomb early in the morning, had found life instead of death. The angels had declared to them that that Jesus was raised from the dead. The women had rushed to tell the disciples and everyone else the good news. There are sometimes that the good news–especially the good news that Jesus lives–is so good that we can’t keep it to ourselves. We’ve got to tell others.
Lord, the news that you are alive is too good to be true. Empower and embolden us so that we can share this news lovingly and courageously. Amen.
Sunday, April 16, 2017–The Resurrection of Jesus
“Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in he saw the linen clothes” (Luke 24:12).
The men didn’t believe what the women told them. Yes, there was a bit of a chauvinistic attitude. Still, the fact that the tomb was empty and that two men in dazzling clothes told the women that Jesus had been raised from the dead would have been difficult to believe. A few of the disciples probably went back to what they were doing previously. Maybe a couple started to discuss what they thought had really happened to the women. Neither of those options satisfied Peter. He had to go and find for himself.
There are times when we limit our experience of life to talking about it. We spout off our opinion on whether or not miracles happen today, or what we think about God and suffering. There is always the invitation, however, to run and see if the tomb is empty–to experience life rather than just talk about it. We might not understand everything. Peter certainly didn’t. He was, though, willing to take the next step of faith and see what happened. Doing that, he encountered a risen savior.
Alleluia! Lord, you’re alive! Though we may not understand everything, help us to see you alive in our lives today and in the days ahead. Amen.