10 July 2012

Luke 23:56b - 24:11

"The 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.'" (v. 5)


Dusk on Friday until dusk on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath day of rest gave an important gap of time between the Friday when Jesus died and the early morning of the Sunday, when the women found that the stone had been rolled away and there was no body. This period of time when Jesus was buried is spiritually important for us. Empathetically, we can lie buried with Jesus through our own experiences of despair and death, and then after a period of time, the right time, God's time, we can find ourselves raised to life with Jesus and moving through our grief to new life.

The women were full of awe at the discovery of the empty tomb. They are amazed. It is beyond their rational comprehension. The two men in dazzling clothes, almost chide them, asking why they are seeking the living among the dead? Some of our experiences of life, and of following Jesus, are very painful, but there comes a point where God challenges us to move on in faith, and believe in the possibility of a new beginning.

The power to move on and through the experience comes with remembering the words of Jesus. The two men in dazzling clothes say "remember how he told you" (v. 5), and then they remembered his words. We too need to 'remember the words of Jesus' to draw insight from them.

The women then went back to tell the apostles (verse 10). When we experience the surprise of resurrection, we too are filled with a desire to tell others, and it is not easy. But the apostles did not believe the women (verse 11). Peter had to go and see for himself, and he found it as the women said and was amazed (verse 12). The experience of resurrection in the aftermath of death is unexpected gift and utterly awesome.

To Ponder

  • Why do you think the two men in dazzling clothes were almost sharp with the women asking why they sought the living among the dead?
  • In what ways have you experienced a sense of resurrection in your life or life coming out of death (or someone known to you, or a community known to you)?
  • Why do you think it was important for the women to tell the apostles?

Bible notes author

The Revd Jenny Ellis

Jenny is a Methodist minister and this year has permission to study, as well as work alongside a rural chapel to help it find a new physical presence and sense of mission in its village. She is leading a number of quiet and study days.