1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. 5 So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground. “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? ” asked the men. 6 “He is not here, but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’? ” 8 And they remembered his words.
On the heels of a devastating loss, it is hard to imagine the thoughts running through the minds of the women headed for the tomb. They knew Jesus. They trusted Jesus. They had just endured a significant loss, but they knew that the traditional ritual of burial and the respect they had for Him meant they had to go to the tomb to finish preparing His body.
And then they arrived at the tomb.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you knew the plan, you were set for the plan—and then the plan changed? These women had one of these moments. As they arrived at the tomb, they found that not only was the stone rolled away from the tomb, Jesus’ body was not there. This certainly wasn’t their plan for how the morning would go.
All scripture tells us about this realization was that the women were “perplexed” by this sight. The Greek word there can also mean “be at a loss” or “in doubt,” which seems to be a much more fitting description of their response than just perplexed!
Before they could get their thoughts together, two men (actually, two angels) appeared before them and asked, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here, but he has risen. Remember how he spoke to you…saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” Then the women remembered Jesus’ words.
We don’t get to read today what happens next (come back tomorrow!). Today we get to dwell on the words the Lord had spoken to them before His death. He knew what was going to happen and He knew what the future held. And in that knowing, Jesus tried to offer them hope for what was to come.
The women had forgotten His words, or maybe they didn’t understand the full significance behind them. Yet Jesus’ words to them were true. He had to endure the cross and conquer death on the third day. Along with the women, we can now walk in full confidence that He is exactly who He says He is.
Jesus’ plan never changed, and it will never change. He is steady and dependable. We have the opportunity to trust His plan and know that it is always for our good and for His glory—just like the day the women found the tomb empty.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- When you forget God’s promises, what verses can you turn to be reminded that Jesus is who He says He is?
- How do you react when your plan is disrupted? How do you trust Jesus when that happens?
Pray for Global Workers from our church family Chase and Leslie* (Names changed for security purposes). Pray for spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health as they navigate marriage and ministry. Pray for fruitful ministry, sweet fellowship with the Lord, and that they would be sustained by His Word.