Daily D – Luke 24:1-7
Luke 24:1-7 But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” (NLT)
Some news is too good to be true.
The women who were preparing spices when the Sabbath began took up their work again and made their way before daylight to finish preparing Jesus’ body. They crept away with their burdens, but returned in a flash, out of breath, bug-eyed, and very nearly speechless.
They said Jesus’ body was gone. They said they met men who reminded them of what Jesus said that he must be betrayed, and he was, that he must be crucified, and he was, and that he would rise on the third day, and they said he was. Risen, that is.
It was hard getting a clear statement from them. Once they found their voices, they were all talking at once. Loudly. This made no sense to me. The commotion, the fear, the possibility of . . . well, it made my heart race. I had to see for myself. And so I left the room and hurried down the steps. My walk became a trot and then a run. I had to see for myself if what I had been told could be true.
I was lost in thought when John dashed passed me. I guess I wasn’t the only one who needed living proof. He got to the tomb ahead of me and stopped at the entrance to take it all in. I pushed past him into the space where Jesus had been laid by Joseph and Nicodemus.
Jesus was not there.
The wrappings were there. The facecloth was there, neatly folded and set aside. The white-robed men with news about Jesus were not there. I guess they just wanted to talk to the women, if they had even there.
So here we are back in a room full of people who had become quiet and still until those women burst in. Now they are all chattering away. It’s so noisy I can’t think straight. John keeps wanting to talk to me. So do the others. I’m sorry, but this is just too good to be true. And even if it were true, I failed Jesus. I am why he died. Judas and me are just alike, except he’s dead. Maybe I need to slip away and disappear. Go back to fishing maybe. Fall overboard maybe. Accidentally drown maybe.
The one thing I could never do is look into his eyes and know how deeply disappointed he must be with me. I denied knowing him. He said he would deny anyone before God who did that to him. I don’t know what’s worse — that I caused his death, or that he really lives and I am going to get what is coming to me. I . . .
“Peace be with you.” (See John 20:19-23.)
He was alive. He is alive. He lives, rules, reigns, saves, delivers, and heals.
We had a long talk. I’m not sure what was harder — overcoming death or forgiving me. But he did forgive me. He restored me. He commissioned me. And he did it after giving me the best catch of fish I ever caught. I admit it. Jesus is a better fisherman than me. He’s better at everything than me. And for the first time in my life, that’s okay with me.
Here comes John, the slowpoke. I’m ahead of him again this time. I needed this walk alone with Jesus more than he did. After Jesus told me what to do as he changed my profession from fisherman to shepherd, he said to me what he said to me at the beginning. He said, “Follow me.”
Since John was following us, I asked, “What about him, Lord?” He let me know that was really none of my business. And for the first time in my life, I was okay not having to know everything about everyone, and I was okay with not being the best at whatever I did. What made the difference? Jesus. Jesus is enough. Jesus is all I need. Jesus is all I want. Whatever he wants, I want, too.
Jesus said I am going to live to be an old man. He said when the end comes, I will be led where I don’t want to go. That’s kind of what happened with Jesus. The only difference is that he wanted to go to the cross and to the grave. That was necessary for him to save a dirty rotten scoundrel like me.
Walking with Jesus away from the lake, away from the fish, away from all that is familiar . . . I have no idea where I’m going. This one thing I do know: I am following Jesus wherever he leads. Wherever he leads, I’ll go.
I’ve been to the mountain. I’ve seen the glory. I’ve been to the empty tomb. I’ve seen and talked with my risen savior. We shared a meal together again. Did I mention how he’s also a better cook than me?
I will follow Jesus and trust him to lead me all the way home.
Our Father, I will follow wherever you lead. Amen.
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