Thursday after the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord
Scripture: St. Luke 24:1-12 (NKJV)
1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'” 8 And they remembered His words.
9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
Luke makes a play on words in his resurrection account. The Greek word for “tomb” is related to the word for “remember.” A tomb is a place of remembrance. But it was at that very place of remembrance that the faithful women forgot.
They didn’t forget everything. They remembered their beloved Teacher Whom they had followed faithfully wherever He went. They remembered His agonizing death two days before, which they beheld from a distance. They remembered seeing Him buried in the tomb and seeing the stone rolled in place.
What they didn’t remember was what Jesus had told them ahead of time about His tomb: on the third day it would be empty! Even the sight of the empty tomb didn’t remind them. Only the word of the angels caused them to remember.
Now let’s remember why the Lord’s resurrection matters. He was put to death for our sins. Death is the punishment for sin. But if the punishment is removed, then atonement for the sins has also been made, and forgiveness is guaranteed to all who believe. So remember Jesus’ words: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life.” “Because I live, you will live also.” “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead. Remember Him when you see the baptismal font. Remember Him in His holy Meal. Remember Him when you pass by the cemetery, or when you visit the grave of a loved one who fell asleep in Christ. Remember Him when death comes close to you. Remember, and rejoice!
We pray: O risen Lord, keep us always in remembrance of Your death and resurrection, and remember us always before Your Father in Heaven, even in our final hour. Amen.