Summary: Remembering the words of Jesus.
A MORNING TO REMEMBER
Some women had followed Joseph of Arimathea, and they took note of the tomb in which Joseph had laid the dead body of Jesus. The Sabbath was coming on, but they had time to prepare aromatics and spices before they ‘remained quiet according to the commandment’ (Luke 23:55-56). After the Sabbath, very early in the morning, they and others with them came to the tomb bringing the aromatics which they had prepared (Luke 24:1), no doubt wishing to further embalm the body of Jesus.
What they found was not what they expected. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went in but “they found not the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:2-3).
At first, they were just perplexed: but then the appearance of two men in shining garments filled them with fear. The women bowed their heads in awe, no doubt perceiving that these were heavenly messengers. The message the visitors bore began with a question: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:4-5).
Why would the angels say such a thing? It was because the death of Jesus did not confine Him to the tomb, for ‘it was impossible for death to hold Him’ (Acts 2:24). “He is not here but is risen!” the angels continued: “REMEMBER how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,” (Luke 24:6).
Jesus had spoken of His forthcoming betrayal, His suffering, His death and His subsequent resurrection (cf. Luke 9:22; Luke 18:32-33). When He had predicted all this, Jesus’ disciples had ‘understood none of these things, this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things that were spoken’ (Luke 18:34). Remember, then, how He said that these things “MUST” happen (Luke 24:7).
Whatever the women had heard of these earlier conversations they now recalled: “And they remembered His words” (Luke 24:8). At the time of leaving the tomb faith was already active in them, and they became the first evangelists. They bore the good news “to the eleven and to all the rest” (Luke 24:9).
That is what we must do, who have heard the words of Jesus, who have received the good news: we must ‘go tell’ (cf. Mark 16:7). That is what Mary, Joanna, Mary and the others did. They went and told these things to the Apostles, no less (Luke 24:10).
No matter that our hearers will not hear at first, that they are sceptical. According to Doctor Luke, the women’s words seemed like the insane babblings spoken of by the Greek medical writers of the time (Luke 24:11). Any excuse not to believe the gospel!
We do not (should not) preach to impress people. Even if there is just one, like Peter impetuously setting off toward the tomb to check things out (Luke 24:12), ‘our labour is not in vain in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 15:58). Peter departed from Tomb-land wondering, marvelling, perhaps not yet believing - but as with many to whom we witness, God hadn’t finished with him yet.
Easter is a morning to remember. Remember the things that Jesus predicted concerning His forthcoming betrayal, suffering, death - and resurrection (Luke 24:7). Remember these things as also predicted in the Old Testament - which becomes a motif throughout the rest of the chapter (cf. Luke 24:26; Luke 24:46).