devotion 5-21-15

It looked like this did not come through when I sent it first, trying again!

Good Morning!

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. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body.* 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The 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.* 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.*

The women had waited through the Sabbath, but as day dawned on the first day of the week, they took the spices and ointments they had prepared, and they went to the tomb. When they arrived, they found the stone had been rolled away; but when they went in, they did not find Jesus’ body. Remember, they had watched him die; they had seen Joseph take the body from the cross, wrap it in linen, and put it in this very tomb. But he was not there! Suddenly, two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them, and they were terrified! These angels, or messengers from God, bring them a message – they say, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” And the angels remind them of Jesus’ words, that he would be handed over to sinners, and would be crucified, and on the third day rise again. Note, the women “remember these words”, indicating that they were among the inner circle of disciples as Jesus came from Galilee. And the women leave the tomb and run back to where the others were staying, and tell the news. Luke names Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women with them. These were women who had been with them on the road with Jesus, who had followed with the disciples. But the disciples do not believe them – this was surely the idle talk of women! But Peter did get up and run to the tomb, and looking in, saw the linen wrappings, neatly folded, but no body – and he went home, puzzled.

Luke does not include a direct meeting between the women, or Mary Magdalene, and the risen Jesus. Their witness is to the empty tomb and the words of the angels. Still, the disciples do not believe them; their testimony is discounted because of who they are, women. Remember this when Luke speaks of the unbelief of Thomas – there is unbelief among all the disciples. Their faith waits for the experience of the Risen Christ; when they experience him, then they will believe! But, why would God give the wondrous news of the resurrection to a group of women? Why are they the witnesses to this incredible event? Jesus, throughout his ministry, taught, healed, and ate with those who were the last and the least, the outcasts and marginalized, those whose lives were powerless and on the edges of society. Women and children and slaves were among those in the first century. Are there those whose witness we discount because of who they are? Think about that.

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