December 17 - Luke 24:1-8

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Luke 24:1-8 – The Resurrection

The women returned to the tomb as soon as they could. It was dawn on the first day of the new week. They had prepared the burial spices and even though it would be difficult, came to deal with the body of the man they knew to be God’s Son.

The stone had been rolled away, but this was not a sign of the resurrection. They would have had to ask the guards to do so in order to preserve the body, but when they entered the tomb … a cave cut into the rocky hillside, they were not prepared to find it empty.

While Luke doesn't name all of the women, we find their names scattered throughout the Gospels. In Matthew 28:1 we find Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (an aunt of Jesus, mother of James, according to Luke 24:10). Mark 16:1 names these two as well as Salome, the mother of James and John. In Luke 24:10, he adds Joanna, who is the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward (Luke 8:3).

It is interesting to note that we know absolutely nothing of the Resurrection itself. No one was there to observe it or remember it. All we know is what happened after the fact.  Matthew’s gospel gives us the earliest account of that morning. An earthquake occurs because of the action of an angel and the stone is dislodged. The angel is seated on it and the guards around the tomb take off.

When the women arrive, the stone has been moved, the tomb is empty and suddenly two angels stand before them. From Deuteronomy 17:6, we know that for something to be considered true, it requires two witnesses. Luke has set before the women two angels who will testify to the resurrection of Jesus.

Why do you look for the living among the dead? Tombs are for dead people. “Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him” (Luke 20:38). Jesus had prophesied he would rise from the dead. God is not God of the dead.

He is not here. He is risen. The angels remind the women of the teaching that Jesus had given to his disciples, and which, presumably they had heard as well regarding his death and resurrection. They remembered.