Thursday of Easter Week
And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. – Luke 24:11.
What became of the other women who had fled from the grave? As trembling they went their way, behold, Jesus met them, after He had appeared to Mary Magdalene, and said to them: “All hail!” And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him. Then He said to them: “Be not afraid: go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me” (Matthew 28:9-10). And they went and told all these things to the Apostles. And lo, Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken to her (John 20:18). But the disciples, when they heard that Jesus lived, and had been seen of Mary Magdalene, did not believe (Mark 16:11). “And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not” (Luke 24:11).
Their hearts were too badly crushed beneath the grief of the cross. They could not comprehend these things. But soon the Savior came to them to cheer them, and to rescue them from their fatal sadness, and to grant them grace to know Him and His salvation. After all, they were His own. O Christian, you, too, will live to see times of sore trial and great sadness, and it may seem to you that you have lost your Savior, and Satan will insinuate to your flesh that the Gospel truths are idle tales. But hold fast to the Word (Revelation 3:11), and “wait on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). He will deliver you, and make you rejoice in the knowledge of Him. Be not terrified when temptations and afflictions come. Indeed, you may expect them to come because your flesh is evil, the unbelieving world around you is opposed to the Savior, and Satan will continually try to waylay you. But, comfort yourself again and again with the words and promises of your gracious God: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
PRAYER. – Continue to deliver me, my Lord and Savior, for in Thee do I hope! Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in Thee, my almighty and faithful Shepherd. My flesh is evil, and Satan is too powerful for me by myself. How will I be able to keep my faith? O risen Lord, let me, a miserable worm, through Thy gracious working in the Gospel, receive by faith, more and more, the almighty power of Thine atoning life and death, and continue to preserve me in this saving faith unto my end. Amen, even so, Thou wilt perform it. Amen.
So let us keep the festival,
whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is Himself the Joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By His grace He doth impart,
eternal sunshine to the heart;
the night of sin is ended.
(Hymn 195, st. 4; TLH)