On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with 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; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
- Luke 24:1-12
“Do you remember playing hide and seek as a child? ‘It’ stayed at home base while the rest of the players hid. As soon as ‘It’ was done counting, he yelled, ‘Here I come, ready or not!’ When players couldn’t be found, he shouted, ‘Ollie, Ollie, in come free!’…and they’d come in free and clear.
“In [Luke 24:5-6], the angel who waited at the tomb had a slightly humorous question for the women who brought the burial spices. Jesus was not with the dead, but the living…and that’s where He is now. When you received Christ, you became spiritually alive. You were reborn with the Holy Spirit living inside you. You are equipped for the new life, and when your body dies, you will live with Him forever in Heaven.
“Thank God for eternal salvation. Pray for those who still are looking for their hope among the dead, that they will seek out the living Lord and receive His eternal life.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
At the time of this posting, Easter will be celebrated tomorrow. Jesus is indeed alive. He has risen. He has risen indeed.
There are two groups, in the Scripture above, that visit the tomb. First, the women go out early, maybe at first light. They were in a hurry to bury Jesus on Good Friday. The Sabbath started at dusk. There was little time to do more than the basics of burial. Jesus’ body was wrapped in cloth. There was no time to use the spices and perfumes. The women prepared them, but they had to rest on the Sabbath. Now, they went back to the tomb to complete the burial process.
The women see two ‘men’ who were dressed in glowing robes, like lightning. They were afraid. The men told them that Jesus had risen. They remembered what Jesus said and believed.
Simple. To the point. They put two and two together and understood what Jesus had been saying. Of course, they saw men in glowing robes that might have given them the idea that this was not an ordinary event at the tomb.
The second group, in the Scripture above, is Peter by himself. John 20:1-9 states that another disciple (thought to be John himself, since the disciple is not named) was with Peter, lagging behind. Peter heard what the women had said. He saw the empty tomb. And he was confused. The John account said that the ‘other disciple’ saw and believed, but they really did not understand what all this meant yet.
Thinking of Peter, could he be that thick headed? Could he be that stubborn?
Or was it the guilt from denying Jesus to those nearby while Jesus was being subjected to a kangaroo court? Guilt can do that to a person. Guilt can make us thick headed. Guilt can make us stubborn. To tie in with the devotion, guilt can make us hide and require someone else to seek us.
Guilt is the reason Adam and Eve hid from God.
Jack Dominian wrote, “You never lose the love of God. Guilt is the warning that temporarily you are out of touch.” “Spiritual life without guilt would be like physical life without pain. Guilt is a defense mechanism; it’s like an alarm that goes off to lead you to confession when you sin,” wrote John MacArthur. But wallowing in guilt is another thing. That means that we remain out of touch with God. That means we go about our day without hitting the button that turns off the alarm.
Most importantly, guilt is our egotistical way of telling God that He might forgive us, but we want to hold onto our guilt anyway. God has removed our sin, for those who believe and trust in God. There is no need for the guilt. Guilt leads to the hide and seek response. God has yelled out, “Ollie! Ollie! In Come Free!” Why are we hanging onto the guilt?
The Lenten season is over, but let’s start a new tradition. Let’s give up something for the entire year, not just Lent. Let’s give up our guilt and accept God’s Grace.
Jesus redeemed Peter in John 21. He is now asking you, “Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.”
Do you love Jesus enough to throw your guilt aside and accept free and clear salvation from God? Then go, believe and trust in Jesus and go, feed His sheep.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.