Remembering the Story:
A Devotional Guide for Holy Week-2013
Easter Sunday: Resurrection
Sing: Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” words by Charles Wesley. Hymn No. 302 in The United Methodist Hymnal.
Read: Luke 24:1-12
Reflect on the Biblical Story:
It was the most significant event in the history of the world, but there were no witnesses. Luke gives us no details about the resurrection itself. Luke doesn’t tell us when it happened. Matthew speaks of an earthquake, of angels descending, guards shaking and becoming “like dead men” (Matthew 28:2-4). Luke gives us none of those details. Some events are just too sacred, just too intimate, and just too holy to be seen by others.
What we see in Luke are the reactions—reactions to the stone having been moved away from the doorway, the empty tomb, the two men in dazzling clothes. We hear that the women were perplexed (v. 4) and terrified (v. 5). Not until they were prompted by the men in the tomb could they remember Jesus’ own words about his death and resurrection. Even with this explanation, they still could not process what had taken place. They must have been extremely animated when they told their story to the other disciples. The apostles viewed their story as “an idle tale” (24:11).
Peter has a different reaction—something must have stirred within him. Was it just his impetuous personality that made him run to the tomb? Was it guilt from falling asleep in the Garden? Did the words he spoke to another woman echo in his brain “I do not know him” (Luke 22:57)? We do not know what he was thinking our how he felt when he ran to the tomb. We do know, however, that after he looked inside the tomb and saw the linen clothes by themselves, he went home “amazed” (Luke 24:12). Even for Peter, this event was just too big for words.
Easter still confounds us today. Two thousand years of sermons later, we still remember—just as the men in white instructed the women to do, and we still are amazed. The women responded by leaving the tomb to tell the other followers what had happened. They told their story. How will we respond?
Reflect on Your Story:
1. Think of a time when what you expected to see was dramatically different from what you saw before your eyes. What emotions did you experience? What did you do in response?
2. Have you told a story about your experience, only to find out that no one believed you? How did you respond?
3. So often, people struggle to understand resurrection. They try to make resurrection conform to their own scientific view of the world. Others seek instead to experience resurrection, to permit the promise of new life create a new view of what it means to be alive. How do you respond to resurrection?
4. The men in white asked the women, “why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (Luke 24:5). In what ways do you look for the living among the dead? Where, then, can you look for the Resurrected Christ? How do you respond to the Resurrected Christ?
Sing: Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain,
wheat that in the dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.
“Now the Green Blade Riseth,” words by J. M. C. Crum. Hymn No. 311 in The United Methodist Hymnal.
Pray: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).