“But on the first day of the week at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24:1-3 (ESV)
My brother-in-law was killed in a motorcycle accident almost eleven years ago. I still remember that phone call as if it was yesterday. I remember the feelings of unbelief and the numbness. It felt like bad dream, and I honestly thought at some point I would wake up and the horrible nightmare would all be over.
I’m sure Jesus’ disciples felt the same way. Even though Jesus had told his disciples over and over again that he would die and rise again in three days, they didn’t understand. They were in shock. They were confused. They were heartbroken. Their friend, their teacher, their mentor, their Savior had died. How could this happen? Wasn’t this the one who was going to rescue Israel? They did not understand that it was only through his death that they could be saved.
Jesus’ body was wrapped in spices and linen cloths and laid in a new tomb. A stone was then rolled in front of the tomb and guards were placed at the tomb to make sure that no one stole the body.
The next day after the crucifixion was the Sabbath. The disciples obediently rested on that day, as was their Jewish custom. But early the next morning, some of the women went to the tomb to bring more of the spices they had prepared. However, when they arrived, the stone has been rolled away from the tomb! Jesus was not there!
I love that the resurrection day starts at early dawn. John 20:1 says, “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”
Do you understand what that means? God the Father could not stand to have His Son in the grave even one second longer than He needed to. It was still dark on the morning of the third day and Jesus had already risen! The stone had already been rolled away!
Imagine that! Even though it was necessary for Jesus to die and lay buried for three days, God the Father didn’t wait any longer that He had to before He raised His Son from the dead! I can imagine that just as the Spirit of God hovered over the earth before the creation of the world, so the Spirit hovered over the body of Jesus waiting for the first moment He could breath new life into his dead body!
I don’t know exactly what happened during those three days when Jesus was buried in the tomb, but I do know that God the Father was so excited to raise his Son from the dead! When Jesus eventually returned to the Father, oh what a reunion between Father and Son that must have been!
Personal Reflection: God will not let you suffer one second longer than necessary. When your heart breaks, His heart breaks. Be ready. Very early in the morning, while it is still dark, your resurrection will come!