Tuesday 07 April 2015

Bible Book:

“But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.” (v. 11)

Luke 24:1-12 Tuesday 7 April 2015

Psalm: Psalm 136


What a long wait it must have seemed, through the sabbath untilthe morning of the first day of the week (verse 2), waiting toattend to the body of a friend, waiting to do for him what wascustomary, even if he had been crucified and left in a borrowedtomb for two days (Luke 23:53).

This man had treated women with respect (John4:7-26), he had included women among his following (Mark15:40-41), he had healed women (Matthew 9:18-25), he had restored to womentheir loved ones (Mark 7:25-30), he had raised up the fallen (John8:3-11); in short, he had treated women as first-classcitizens. That was very different to the way women were treated byother men, not least by men in religious life. Paul, writing someyears later to the Christians in Galatia, noted that all are one inChrist Jesus: Jew and Greek, slave and free, men and women (Galatians 3:28). Society in Jesus' day had along way to go on this; some twenty first-century societies stillhave a long way to go.

In today's passage the women had clearly taken note of theinevitable: spices had been bought and prepared (verse 1), notsomething possible over the Sabbath. They were ready for the taskahead; what they weren't ready for was an empty tomb!

The gentle, but unambiguous, message of the men in dazzlingclothes (angels, even) was an encouragement to spread the amazingnews. But it was not well received. The Greek original, 'leros',signifies 'nonsense' or 'rubbish': it could hardly be moredisparaging. It is, in fact, the basis for the English word,'delirious'. These women were clearly out of their minds with grief- who could possibly believe them? But one man did wonder and hewent to check. That must have taken courage, not least given hisreactions under pressure three nights earlier (Luke22:55-62).

To Ponder

  • The women had the courage to get up early to go to the tomb ofan executed man - how courageous are you when it comes to goingcounter to public opinion in matters of faith?
  • 'What rubbish!' - what do you say to people who greet the goodnews about Jesus with utter disdain? 
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