What was the last thing that happened to you that made you wonder what God was doing?
They were wondering about this. Suddenly two men in clothes as bright as lightning stood beside them. 5The women were terrified. They bowed down with their faces to the ground. Then the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6Jesus is not here! He has risen! Remember how he told you he would rise. It was while he was still with you in Galilee. 7He said, ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people. He must be nailed to a cross. On the third day he will rise from the dead.’ ” 8Then the women remembered Jesus’ words.
(Luke 24:4-8 ESV)
The women who came early in the morning to properly care for Jesus’ body were surprised by the disappearance of his body so they were “wondering” about it. No kidding! They fully expected to do the funeral preparations that time had prevented them from doing earlier, but it was impossible to do so. Instead strangers whose clothes were “bright as lightning” confront them and ask what they think they are doing! Why are you trying to do a funeral thing for someone who isn’t dead? Why are you acting as though Jesus hadn’t told you anything? He told you he would rise! Don’t you remember? And then they remembered what Jesus had told them. Then? Yes, then, after it was right in front of their eyes, after it had happened. Why didn’t they remember before? And it wasn’t just the women who didn’t remember, the disciples were all sitting in grief and shock because Jesus had died, and no one remembered what he said…until the angels bring it back up. We need messengers from God, don’t we? It is so familiar a story, to hear that no one remembered what Jesus said until after it was over and someone could point it out to them. Our hindsight is so much better than our understanding of the present moment. But it also seems true that much of our “surprise” at things of God is the natural consequence of not remembering or understanding what Jesus said and meant. I think the basic reason we have trouble with this isn’t memory—we can remember the words—but understanding his words from the right perspective. The angels terrified the women, but they were actually there to comfort them. They were there to put Jesus’ words into a perspective that let the women understand what was happening right then and there. And I think we need the same kinds of lessons in understanding what Jesus has said.
Lord may I learn to hear your message and understand your will; may my ears hear and my eyes see according to your truth!