Tomb of Revenge

Matthew 28:1 “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb” (NIV).

Observation:  At week’s beginning the two Marys had for the second time gone to Christ’s gravesite. Arriving after a great earthquake, the women found not the expected undisturbed gravesite, but an angel sitting calmly on the rolled-away stone once assigned to cover the tomb’s entrance, his radiant-as-lightning appearance having left the guards as dead men. It was into this stunning scene that the angel spoke, “I know you are looking for Jesus . . .”

Application:  Is this one of those “gotchas” of Scripture, where we read near-by verses in seeming conflict? The angel does appear to have got it wrong; Scripture clearly says they had gone to look at the tomb, not that they were looking for Jesus.

These women had no expectation of seeing Christ. Instead, they would likely be counted among His grave-tenders, delivering plastic flowers, pulling desecrating weeds and making sure lawn maintenance was done on schedule. They had no hope of such sublime pleasure as to see Christ.

The women well knew the place of their vigil, but they had no idea of its purpose. Surely their expectation was to sit again in morose silence, hearts wrung of ability to experience further pain. I can imagine them resigned to staring numbly at this last place on earth He had touched, as though the place itself could keep memory fresh.

But the angel was right, of course. He knew what they really sought: fresh embrace, renewed intimacy with the only One who had ever awakened their darkened hearts to full passion.

As I have experienced some of life’s troublings, it is shamefully easy to recount times when I have pursued the wrong things. I was willing to focus on tombs of revenge or bitterness when God intended blessing, to seek fulfillment at the gravesite of pleasure-in-earthly-things while the Spirit of God whispered persistently, “This will never satisfy; I know what you really seek.” And I am led again to Christ, fully alive, eagerly awaiting my embrace.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I am so thankful that You know my heart perfectly, even when I don’t. Help me to look past the stuff of this world to embrace only You, life’s sustainer. I love You, Lord

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