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Eastertide Week Two: Remember the Resurrection

By Barbara Rainey

First posted on EverThineHome.com






As we start this new week looking at the Resurrection there are so many details that must be noticed by our hearts for our faith to grow into worship. Three appearances are recorded on the first Easter Sunday. It’s dawn and time to peek into the empty tomb!


Let’s gaze at a few of the many details from Resurrection morning with the clarity of hindsight (it’s our default human vantage point) and the Spirit’s illumination. Enter the story. To be changed by the miracle of it, we must keep it with us … closely, intimately, as a treasure.


After Saturday’s Sabbath had ended at sundown, a group of women “bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him” (Mark 16:1, NASB). After their meeting time and place was set, they went to bed. Exhausted and sleep deprived, yet again this night they slept little and were awake well before dawn. It had been only two days since the horror of the Crucifixion.


As the first rays of sunshine crested the horizon “very early on the first day of the week” (Mark 16:2), its warmth touched a group of women walking together, heads and arms wrapped in shawls to keep the morning’s chill away. The four Gospels name them in various groupings. They were Mary Magdalene; Mary, the mother of James; Salome; Joanna; and “the women who had come with Him out of Galilee” (Luke 23:55, NASB).


But … wait … why were no men present?


Was it because it was the woman’s duty to care for the bodies of the departed? Or were the men kept away by the facts—Jesus was dead and everyone knows death is final. End of story.


Jesus was like family to these women! It was unthinkable not to go to the tomb because women are devoted to their families. They went to be near the One they loved, “taking the spices they had prepared” (Luke 24:1), a beautiful act of devotion.



A pause on our journey back to the scene, and a question: Have you been willing to go near to Jesus even when He seemed dead … or silent … or unresponsive to you? What do you think of these women who did not hesitate? Don’t rush past this moment.


Now look again at the scene of the tomb … more closely now ... because of their love for Jesus, the women dared to go near … and …


… they were the very first to discover the tomb was empty (John 20:1).

… they saw an angel or two (Matthew 28:2, Luke 24:4).

… they were the first to hear the news “He has risen, just as He said” (Matthew 28:5-7, NASB).

… some were the first to see Jesus alive (John 20:14-16).

… they were the first to believe and worship Him (Matthew 28:8-9).


Here at the tomb we see Jesus honor His female disciples who were quick to recognize and believe the impossible. Their deep love and their eager, welcoming faith was abundantly rewarded.  


Then they ran to share the good news!


Belief in God is supremely important to Jesus. It’s what He longs for from us. Though we waver often between belief and unbelief, Easter reminds us to always lean toward belief even if we feel crazy doing so, just as believing Jesus was actually alive felt crazy on that first Easter morning.

God likes it when we choose to go to Him, to be near Him. James 4:8 tells us, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” Will you take steps toward Him?



Another profound truth from the death of Jesus is this: The end of the story is never the end of the story. You may be facing a dead end in your life, but the Resurrection is a reminder that God knows how to bring life to what appears to be dead.


Choosing to believe keeps the door open to what God wants to do. Choosing to believe is one way we remain awed by Jesus every day.


Remember the Resurrection and its wonders, and sing to the LORD,


“See what a morning, gloriously bright

With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem”1


For Eastertide reflection:


1. Since the Resurrection is the pivotal moment of history, why are Christians in the days after Easter back to normal as if nothing revolutionary happened? Why is Easter just an event we celebrate, with any wonder or awe we feel evaporated by nightfall? What are your thoughts about this?


2. Are you open to remaining stunned by this incomprehensible miracle? How can you remain awed by Jesus even as you return to ordinary living?


3. How can you go near Jesus today? He longs for you to come to Him. Don’t forget He rewarded the women who went near even when they thought He was dead. Why do you hesitate?  This would be a good topic of conversation with your Savior today and this week.


In the historical church, the season between Easter Sunday and Pentecost is called Eastertide, a festive season for celebrating the risen Christ. This begins the second week of devotions we’re offering to our paid subscribers, so look for the next one tomorrow. If you’re a free subscriber, click here to join Barbara’s Friends & Family subscribers and get access to the full series.



We hope you will read these devotions meditatively, learn more about Jesus, and continue to savor the Savior who gave His life for you and rose from the grave. May you celebrate the Resurrection longer this year!


ENDNOTES

1

Lyrics from “See What a Morning,” by Stuart Townsend and Keith Getty.


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