And Then They Waited...
by David Brenneman
"Now the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how His body was laid. And then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment." Luke 23:55-56 NASB
I have read some of what Doctors have written of what Jesus physically went through before, during the crucifixion, and afterwards. There's still other details not written, probably, concerning what was done afterwards. Of what Joseph of Arimathea went through with the whole removal process to get Jesus off the cross. Of what all thoughts went through his head as he took this great risk to step forward and do what must be done. His part in all this is just as significant as those the preceded it and those that followed it. But catch the part of the women. The couldn't do much but they were ready to do something.
The Disciples scattered. Just as the Scriptures said. Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will scatter.
Joseph is forever remembered for taking a stand in what He believed. It was the death of Jesus that pushed him to action.
He had to cross many cultural things to arrive at Pilate's doorstep. Taking a stand with the accused. Being willing to honor the one that the Jewish Leaders had put to death. These women as well, they possibly risked being put out of the synagogue because of affiliation with Jesus. Indeed we read later after the resurrection that they were hiding as well as the Disciples.
But they waited and were certainly not disappointed. It probably took hours to prepare the spices etc. Probably those women were talking about their experiences with Jesus. We read that in time their conversation turned to who would help them move the stone.
I have often wondered if setting the stone in place was out of place in the normal scheme of things. They had a process for preparing a body for a final rest. Lazarus had died and his body was prepared and THEN the stone was put in place.
But we read of them waited. We know that they were deep in grief. Sorrow engulfed them. Sorrow that was turned to joy when Jesus revealed Himself. Their wait was over...but oh how it turned out differently than they expected!
They were expecting one kind of thing in doing for Jesus what they also might have done for Lazarus. What happened was very unexpected with Jesus rising from the dead. Their great sorrow turned to joy beyond their wildest imagination.
Are you at all expectantly waiting for Jesus to return? If not why not?
Are you not reading your Bible where we are commanded to do so?
Have you not also read where it says that he who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins?
We don't follow some dead person's ideas or ideals. We aren't honoring someone who is dead and gone who will only be seen again by people dying in their own sins, arriving in Hell to accompany them. The only next stop for them is the Judgment seat of Christ Jesus.
We follow the living Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Risen One. The One who overcame, sin, death and the grave.
The One the were both waiting for and the One they didn't know they were waiting for. Gripping sorrow blinded them from the words Jesus taught of Himself.
But their wait wasn't but for 3 days. Ours has gone on for several centuries. But the command is the same today as it was when given. Be ready, for you know not when the Son of Man will return.
Jesus taught in parables of various ways people should be prepared for the imminent return of their King. When Jesus repeats Himself, pay attention!
Jesus was horribly beaten, whipped, assaulted, crudely nailed to a cross that weighed down His exhausted body, forced to carry most of it to His own crucifixion. Simon of Cyrene was conscripted to carry the tall beam portion behind Jesus to the place called Skull. We read not if anything was said between him and Jesus.
Jesus's death brought great joy to those thinking He was going to finally be silenced. Demons rejoicing everywhere. Satan on the edge of his seat waiting for the final moments. Still believing that he was merely an empowered human being.
Then everyone's wait was over...The guard of men, which was over a dozen of them, we read of what happened with and to them.
The women show up and find the Angels who were so excited to share the joyful news!
Jesus arrives just as He said He would.
Let that sink in.
Jesus arrived just as He said He would.
Will you be so consumed with eking out a living that you neglected to live a life ready for His appearing?
Are the passions and joys of this world more exciting to you than the imminent arrival of your Savior?
Are you more excited about anything than Jesus returning?
Do you pray as the early Church did for boldness in speaking with others about the free gift of salvation? I am still reminded of what Revelation 19 says about cowardice.
Do you set aside time, on purpose, to be with Jesus? He isn't your Genie, isn't your Butler, isn't Roadside Assistance, isn't your Google, isn't your GPS. He isn't anything the world paints Him to be in order to dilute His impact.
IS Jesus King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
IS Jesus the Risen One?
IS Jesus making of the lumber of your life a Temple rather than a tavern?
Are you expecting God to be in your life in this very moment of your life?
Are you praying expectantly?
We read that those righteousness ones of the Old Testament looked forward to the day of Christ Jesus and were glad.
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