Tuesday of Easter Week
For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. —John 20:9.
Mary Magdalene found Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved (John), and said to them: “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid Him” (John 20:1-2). Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and they came to the sepulcher. And both ran; and the other disciple outran Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. And stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying; yet went he not in. Then came Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulcher, and saw the linen cloths lie, and the napkin that was about His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, who came first to the sepulcher, and saw, and believed (vv. 3-8).
What did they believe? “That He was taken away, as Mary Magdalene had told them,” says Dr. Luther. “For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead” (v. 9). Then the disciples went away again unto their own home (v. 10). God kindles and preserves true faith through His Word. If this is lost sight of, the appearance of things that are cheerless and depressing can overpower one. So it was with the disciples. Indeed, they had heard that Christ must rise from the dead; Christ Himself had told them that repeatedly. But that very Word was not, at that time, a living knowledge with them. Hence the terrors of the cross and the horrors of the grave and of death so clouded their vision that, from the vacant tomb, they learned only that the body was gone, and not that Jesus was risen.
Christian, if you ever turn away from the light of Scripture, you will see nothing but darkness! Therefore, “continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and has been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them” (II Timothy 3:14).
PRAYER. – O God the Holy Ghost, Spirit of Christ, our Savior, who through the Word dost illumine the hearts of Thy believers to know the divine truth and to be comforted by it, illumine my heart more and more, that I may always be comforted abundantly by the Resurrection of our Savior, and that I may always have the full assurance that He hath completely overpowered sin, death, and the grave for my benefit, and hath procured for me righteousness, life, and eternal salvation, until I shall reach those blessed abodes where believing will be changed to seeing. Amen.
It was a strange and dreadful strife,
when Life and Death contended.
The victory remained with Life;
The reign of Death was ended.
Holy Scripture plainly saith,
that Death is swallowed up by Death;
his sting is lost forever. Hallelujah!
(Hymn 195, st. 2; TLH)