When the women came, with burial spices, at the crack of dawn on Sunday after the crucifixion of Jesus on Friday, they were expecting to find his body in the tomb.
In Mark’s gospel we read that they expected the stone to be in front of the tomb and were worrying about who would roll it back for them. They were not expecting the tomb to be open, Jesus’ body gone and two men with light cascading over them, asking why they were looking for the living among the dead.
Read Luke 24:1-12 and then enter into the meditation, ponder on the events and on what God might want to say to you about your own expectations at this point of your journey.
Imagine that you are with the women (or even one of them) as they walk to the tomb. Take time to notice the surroundings, the buildings, the weather, the temperature, what the women are wearing?
Are they silent as they walk, or are they talking? If they are talking to each other what are they saying? How are they feeling? Do they speak to you? How do you respond?
They reach the tomb. The stone has been rolled away! How do they react? Who goes into the tomb? They are puzzled. How do you feel?
Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, two men with light cascading over them appear. How do the women respond? Observe them bow in worship. Hear the men say, ‘Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?’ (Luke 24: 5-7 The Message). Notice how the women react to this.
The women return to where they are staying – how are they feeling as they make the return journey? What is going through your mind as you journey with them?
The women tell the news to the eleven. Watch as the men disbelieve them. How do they respond? Notice your own reaction and feelings. Peter however jumps up and goes to see for himself.
Hold these events in your mind and in the stillness ask the Lord to reveal to you His perspective on them.
Now consider your own life, have you experienced challenges and disappointments over your own levels of expectation of events and circumstances? Lay these at the foot of the cross and listen to what Lord says to you about them.
While our own expectations of people, events, circumstances may not always be as we would expect or hope for, we can be confident in our expectation that God is faithful and always loving towards us.
You may like to end by pondering on one of the verses below.
‘I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. You will pray to me and I will answer you.’ Jeremiah 29:11&12 (GNB)
‘Trust the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.’ Proverbs 3:5 (GNBe)