Day 1 // Take a look
It’s the week after Easter, the greatest event in the Christian Calendar where we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the time God planned to save the world. He came in human form to connect with the world and restore relationship with Himself through the death of His son, Jesus. The resurrection followed, giving us hope that He has beaten death and we can be assured of our future with Him! This week I want to look at how those in Luke 24 responded to the resurrection and how we can be encouraged by this!
“…so they went in to take a look…”
Luke 24:3 (TPT)
Luke 24 tells us that a few of the women who followed Jesus went to the tomb where Jesus had been buried, but when they arrived, they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty! What I love about this small verse in verse 3 is that they went in to take a look! Such a simple statement but so profound! I don’t know about you, but I am quite inquisitive and love to explore new places. In this time of lockdown where we are allowed to only go out for food or for exercise, I have found myself going on long walks to my local park. In doing this I have discovered all sorts of places of natural beauty that I didn’t even know existed so close to my home! Being inquisitive is not a bad thing as it helps us grow and explore more of the world! Can I encourage, during this time where we find ourselves in lockdown, to ‘take a look’, to seek out Jesus in a deeper way, to read more of His Word, to look for Him in the stillness. You will be sure to find Him as you seek after Him.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
Day 2 // Take a look
During this season we all find ourselves in, I wake up each morning thinking it is a normal day and then realise my life looks very different! I won’t be getting up and going into my workplace, but I’ll be working from home. I won’t be going out in the evening for a meal with friends, but I’ll be doing a zoom call to connect with people! What strange times we live in! I find myself waking up and realising what has happened and being somewhat shocked. Some days I feel levels of fear at what is happening and how we will all come through the other end of this. I guess these are expected and normal reactions!
"They stood there stunned and perplexed. Suddenly two men in dazzling white robes shining like lightning appeared above them. Terrified, the women fell to the ground on their faces.”
Luke 24:4-5 (TPT)
The women who arrived at the tomb felt these same kinds of emotions. They were expecting to see a dead body but found themselves confronted by an angel and no body! The text uses these words ‘stunned’, ‘perplexed’ and ‘terrified’ to describe what they felt. But what is amazing in light of these emotions was that they were looking for Jesus; the one who calmed the storms, who healed the multitudes and who had rescued each of these women. They were about to experience the greatest miracle of all time – Jesus returning from death!
Whatever your emotions look like today, whether steady or full of fear, can I encourage you to take them to Jesus and let Him fill you with peace and hope.
Day 3 // Don’t forget!
I don’t think I’m a particularly forgetful person apart from when it comes to where I put my keys! I’m forever forgetting that! What does happen however, is I can sometimes in a time of pressure or worry, forget what Jesus is saying. The women at the tomb after the resurrection had a similar problem!
“He is not here, for He has risen! Have you forgotten what He said to you while He was still in Galilee? The Son of Man is destined to be handed over to sinful men to be nailed to a cross, and on the third day He will rise again? All at once they remembered His words”
Luke 24:9 (TPT)
In the women’s shock and grief, they had forgotten what Jesus had said, His words of promise and hope. It can be so easy in times of difficulty to forget the promises Jesus has said over our lives or to turn to the wrong voices for advice and support. Although many people give us great advice, we can get the best support and help from the Word of God. The Bible contains hundreds of verses of encouragement, hope, life, peace and so much more! Can I encourage you today, to pick up your Bible (or find the Bible on the YouVersion app) and begin to read the great promises of hope in God’s Word. He wants to speak to you and fill you with courage!
Day 4 // Speak Out
I wonder what speaking to people looks like for you right now? For me personally, I am trying to ensure I call, facetime or zoom with people everyday so that although I am isolating, I am not isolated! God made us to be in relationship and communication with each other – that’s why He gave us a mouth to speak! There are so many times in the book of Proverbs in the Bible where it talks about there being power in the words that we speak and that is never more relevant than it is today! For those who arrived at the empty tomb to find Jesus had been resurrected, they just had to speak out about what had happened!
““Leaving the tomb, they went to break the news to the eleven and to all the others of what they had seen and heard.”
Luke 24:5-8 (TPT)
These women went to break the news! Often this phrase ‘breaking the news’ is in the context of bad news, but here this was the most exciting news they had ever shared! They didn’t just share it with the disciples, but it says they shared it with ‘all the others.’ We have an opportunity during this time of crisis and sadness to share the Good News of hope with people. We can share Jesus and what He has done in our lives. It is easy to get caught up in the negative stories, but can I encourage you today to share some messages of hope with people - maybe a story of something good that someone is doing to help people, maybe an encouraging Bible verse or simply just sharing the hope you have found in Jesus. People need us to speak out more than ever!
Day 5 // Run to Hope
A few years ago, I read a book called ‘The Vicar of Baghdad’ written by Andrew White who ministered and fought for peace for many years in the Middle East. Life was particularly risky and difficult for him. In his book he says this ‘…but then unexpectedly the hope of the resurrection breaks through. I think of days when all had seemed utterly bleak and I have gone in my mind to the empty tomb of Christ and just stood there. That empty tomb has been my inspiration. So, we take heart.’ Wow. At times of uncertainty, we have to run into the arms of Jesus. We have to run to hope.
“‘When the disciples heard the testimony of the women, it made no sense and they were unable to believe what they heard. But Peter jumped up and ran the entire distance to the tomb to see for himself.’
Luke 24:11-12 (TPT)
Upon hearing this most shocking news Peter jumped up and ran. There is a sense of urgency in these words. He wasn’t just aimlessly running to let off steam, he was running straight to the place where he could realise for himself what had happened. It was to give him hope that what had taken place was real! In any crisis Jesus is our hope. He helps to steady us. He refreshes us. Whatever you are facing today or whatever you are feeling, can I encourage you to run straight to Jesus. Lay your burdens before Him and hold onto the hope He offers you.