“The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man[a] must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
Introduction: Sometimes victory is hard to grasp – to comprehend. A seemingly insurmountable challenge had plagued Tom & me for several years. We had not asked for this challenge, and we couldn’t do a thing to stop it, but we were honor bound to find a solution for it. We prayed diligently for the Lord to send the solution but for four years – no answer came. The worst case scenario – which would be devastating to us – seemed about to happen when God’s answer came in one short phone call. His answer was far above and beyond anything we had hoped for. We found ourselves stunned – unable to grasp the magnitude of what the Lord had just done for us. I stood in our living room, with the phone in my hand, speechless – and that’s saying something for me! I was frozen in place for several seconds, (it seemed much longer) – before I could even respond to the caller on the other end of the phone. I couldn’t believe it! It made no sense! How could the outcome be this good? Well, there we were, after 4 years of praying and God answering in a way only He could, and we were both saying “Un-be-liev-a-ble!”
Well, we aren’t the only ones who have ever had a hard time “grasping” or comprehending God’s Victory. So did the disciples. But once they did, their lives – and the world – would never be the same again!
Jesus and His followers were on their way back to Jerusalem and He had just told the disciples what would happen there. He predicted He would be handed over to the Romans, mocked, treated shamefully, spit upon, flogged and killed – and that is exactly what happened. But that wasn’t the end of the story. (Luke 18)
In Luke 24 (verified in Mark 16:10 and John 20:19) we find the disciples locked in the upper room, grieving, broken, defeated and so afraid they wouldn’t even leave the room. What seemed to all to be the absolute worst case scenario had happened. Jesus was dead. He was gone and so was the hope they had all staked their lives on. How could they have misunderstood so much? How could they have been so wrong? Now they feared for their lives and those of their families.
But, as often happens in life, just when we think we’re defeated, just when we think there is no more hope, Hope is exactly what shows up and it is always Him doing the showing!
That morning the women who had stood by Jesus’ side through thick and thin left the safety of the upper room to go the tomb and anoint the body of the One they loved. It was right there at the tomb – in the place of seemingly the greatest defeat – that they found victory instead!
In an instant their fear turned to elation and their defeat turned to victory as they remembered what he had said. Reading on to verse 8 of Luke 24;
“Then they remembered He had said this.”
Jesus was not dead, He had risen just like he had promised.
My friend, take heart! Jesus is mighty and powerful and He always shows up when you least expect Him! He always keeps his promises – even when we don’t remember them!
Your traveling Partner,
Photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/jarpur-49678