Day 31: Where Did He Go?

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” John 20:1-2

When you’re looking for something you have misplaced, have you ever said, “Well, it couldn't have walked off by itself”? You expect objects to be where you last left them. The way Jesus’ friends reacted to His resurrection was rather like that. Mary Magdalene and the disciples went looking for a body in the place they had left it, and it wasn't there. They immediately assumed not that Jesus had risen, but that His body had been moved. A dead man couldn't walk off by himself, right?

Well, it just so happened that this body did walk off by itself. Jesus had told His followers that He would rise from the dead, yet it seemed so impossible that they didn't even consider resurrection as an option. Mary is so focused on the idea of a missing body that even when two angels ask her what's wrong, she says someone has taken Jesus’ body―you would think the presence of two angels would give her a clue that something miraculous had occurred! Mary then does the same thing to Jesus Himself! He asks what is wrong, and she assumes He is a
caretaker who has moved the body.

Two things are apparent from the reaction of Mary and the disciples. First, Jesus had really died. He hadn't somehow survived the crucifixion and then recovered. His closest friends, the ones most affected by His death, really believed He had died. Second, Jesus’ resurrection was bodily. Jesus wasn't a ghost or spirit. His own body was alive again.

The result was that Mary and the disciples, despite knowing that Jesus was going to die and rise again, were utterly baffled by the missing body. They had been told, but this event was so unique in history it didn't occur to them that it could be literally true. They still needed to learn to trust the Word of God more than their own experience.

Question for reflection and discussion

  • Are you looking for an answer God has already revealed?
  • What seems impossible despite God’s promises?

Dear God, Your resurrection shows that You fulfill Your promises. Help us have faith and believe in Your words, even when it seems impossible. In Jesus’ name, amen