Heavenly Father, we come before You to learn, listen, worship, and fellowship with You. Speak to us and Your servants will listen, hear, and obey, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb very early on Easter Sunday when it was still dark. She saw the tombstone rolled away and falsely concluded that tomb raiders had stolen the Lord’s body. She bumped into Peter and John, and told them what she saw. The duo raced to the tomb as fast as they could.
4 They both ran together. The other disciple outran Peter, and came to the tomb first. 5 Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he didn’t enter in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying, 7 and the cloth that had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So then the other disciple who came first to the tomb also entered in, and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they didn’t know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
John outran Peter and reached the tomb first but did not go in. He saw the empty tomb from the outside. The Greek word for saw here is “blepo” which means to take a glance. John did not see anything significant.
Peter arrived at the scene, entered the tomb, and saw the linen cloths lying on the floor, undisturbed in two piles, one for the head and one for the rest of the body., from the neck to the toes. The Greek word for saw here is “theoreo”, which means to see like a detective investigating a crime scene. Peter saw the empty linen clothes but could not connect the dots.
After this, John entered the tomb and saw what Peter had just seen. The Greek word for saw here is “aido”, which means to see with insight and understanding. John saw the “cocoon” and correctly concluded that Jesus had resurrected from the dead. He understood that Christ’s resurrection body body had passed out from the linen cloths like a butterfly exiting a cocoon. John was the first disciple to believe in the Resurrection of Christ.
On Good Friday, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrapped up Jesus’ body with linen strips from the head to the toes. The linen strips were interlaced with myrrh and aloes. Over time, when the spices dried up, the linen strips hardened and solidified into a cocoon-like structure.
On Easter, three people came out from Easter with different conclusions. Mary Magdalene saw the opened tomb and falsely concluded that tomb raiders came to steal the body. Peter saw the linen cloths but could not connect the dots. John saw the linen cloths and believed that Christ had Risen. What about you? What did you ‘see’ from the Easter narrative? Did you ‘see’ the Risen Christ and believed?
Today, you can visit the garden tomb in Jerusalem as a pilgrim and relive the experience of Peter and John when you walk into the empty tomb. The Bible is about real people, real places, real history, and real geography. It is not a figment of someone’s imagination. The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Thank You that You have conquered sin and death on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Easter. Thank You for the gift of salvation and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, thank You for traveling with us on this amazing , incredible, and wonderful journey through the Gospel of Luke. Thank You for opening our eyes and giving us spiritual heartburn as You opened the scriptures to us. Thank You for giving us a glimpse into the life of Jesus Christ from His birth to His ascension. Thank You for the gift of spiritual faith, insight, growth, and maturity, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Before sunrise on the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James and John, and other women, came to the tomb with spices to anoint Jesus’s body. Finding the tombstone rolled away, they entered and were amazed to find it empty. Two angels clothed in shining dazzling attire appeared and proclaimed that Jesus had risen from the dead as He had prophesied when He was with them in Galilee. They hurried back to the eleven apostles and reported all that they had seen and heard. The apostles just could not believe what they heard. Peter ran back to the tomb, and saw the empty tomb with the empty linen clothes but could not connect the dots.
13 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem. 14 They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened. 15 While they talked and questioned together, Jesus himself came near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?” 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?” 19 He said to them, “What things?” They said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; 23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of us went to the tomb and found it just like the women had said, but they didn’t see him.” 25 He said to them, “Foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” 27 Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 They came near to the village where they were going, and he acted like he would go further. 29 They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.” He went in to stay with them. 30 When he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave it to them. 31 Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, then he vanished out of their sight 32 They said to one another, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” (read the whole of Luke 24 on your own).
Luke 24: 13-32
This was now Easter afternoon or evening. The disciples had a very significant day and were confused and lost in words. With heavy hearts, Cleopas and his/her companion went on a walking trip from Jerusalem to Emmaus which was about 7 miles to the west. While they were deep in discussion, the Risen Jesus quietly came alongside them to join in the conversation. He had closed their eyes to prevent them from recognizing Him. Jesus gently asked what they were discussing so intensely. Not knowing the identity of the stranger, Cleopas responded ironically that Jesus did not know what happened to Himself in Jerusalem in the past few days! Cleopas clarified that they were discussing Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet, whom the Jewish leaders betrayed and condemned to death at the hands of the Romans.They were so sure that He was the Christ but now He had died, and all their hopes were shattered. What was even more incredible was some women’s testimonies about the empty tomb and seeing angels who told them that Jesus was alive. In the first-century world, a woman’s testimony was unreliable and not even valid in a court of law! Jesus censured them for their ignorance of scriptural prophesy and lack of faith. Didn’t they know that Christ had to suffer first suffer before He could enter into glory? Jesus gave them a comprehensive expositional Bible study about Himself in the Old Testament beginning from Moses until the prophets. After this, He wanted to leave but they persuaded Him to stay on. By this time it must be late in the evening. Jesus had dinner, broke bread, opened their eyes, and vanished out of sight. Did they see the nail marks on His hands when He broke bread and recognized Him?
Jesus gave a comprehensive expositional Bible Study to the two disciples. Today, Jesus is still giving you expositional Bible studies. When you open the Bible devotionally, the Holy Spirit comes alongside you and speaks to you revealing truth after truth.
The disciples’ eyes were opened, and their hearts burned when Jesus opened the scriptures to them. Your eyes will open and your heart will burn when the Holy Spirit opened scriptures to you during Bible study. God’s word can be sweet in the mouth but bitter in the stomach. The word of God is a double-edged sword. It can cut you in both ways. Hearing God’s words may be sweet but applying them to your life can be bitter Rev. 10:9.
Christ died, was buried, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven. He will come back again at the end of world history to set up His millennial kingdom on earth, Rev. 20:4.. We do not know when He will come back but we have His promise. We must follow the current events in Israel and the Middle East, be vigilant, and be prepared for His return.
Are you prepared for His second coming? Have you received Him as your Lord and Savior? You can do this right now, where you are. In a simple prayer, confessed that you have sinned against Him, believe that He died on the cross to pay the punishment for your sin, and surrender your life to Him. This is the first step but is the most important. If you prayed this prayer, find a local bible believing church and tell the pastor about your decision.
I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. He said to me, “Take it, and eat it. It will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth, it will be as sweet as honey.
I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You have done for us in our lives. Thank You for making us better disciples, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. Thank You for the renewal of our mindsets and transformation of our hearts, in Jesus’ name, Amen.