“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! (Luke 24:5-6, NIV).
The women who had followed Jesus to his entombment Friday returned Sunday morning with spices to embalm his body. Upon arriving, they were shocked to find the tomb empty.
As they pondered this, two angelic men in dazzling clothing appeared saying, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?” He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” (Luke 24:5-7).
The women ran to tell the other disciples. They all thought the women were out of their minds. None of them remembered what Jesus had said or expected him to rise from the dead. After the last three days, who could blame them? Jesus betrayed, arrested, crucified, and killed. Their friend and Lord gone. Their messianic hopes crushed. Maybe He told them he would rise. But now that seemed like a pipe dream. Now they were expecting trouble The same people who took his body could be coming for them. The disciples were hiding behind locked doors. When the dust settled, they expected to go back to their old lives. If they survived, life would never be the same. To their great surprise, Jesus suddenly appeared before them!! He had risen from the dead! The disciples saw him with their own eyes. Touched his wounds. Watched him eat. Listened to him speak. He breathed his Holy Spirit upon them. His resurrection life became theirs too. Their hopes, dreams, faith, love, strength, and expectations began to rise from the ashes of defeat. What began as the worst day became the best day in the history of creation. We can relate to the disciples. We had high hopes, and then cancer struck. Since then, life may seem like one blow after another. A distressing diagnosis. Sickening chemo and radiation. Disability. Disfigurement. Progression. Insurance denials. You may come to expect only the worst. Thankfully Jesus is not limited by our expectations. He is alive. He reigns over life, death, and disease. He is with you and loves you. He endured this horrific week for you. He can heal and provide all you need. He can do anything he wants. He can raise life out of cancer. He can enliven you today with abundant life and assure you of eternity! I fondly recall watching many Easter egg hunts at churches I pastored. No one puts on an Easter egg hunt like a church. Eggs are hidden all over the grounds by children ministry leaders, parents, and youth. Swarms of excited children, baskets in hand, run and search. These boys and girls, exploding with expectation, find basketfuls of candies and treats. This Easter commandeer some of the children’s’ expectation for yourself. Search joyfully for the resurrected Jesus. His blessings are all around you.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I praise you and stand in awe of your victory over death. Thank you for enduring the cross for me. You reign over life, death, and evil. You will conquer cancer too. Help me to always expect you to show up and lift up my life! In your name, I pray. Amen.
Your Turn: Read Luke 24. Listen to Resurrecting by Elevation Worship.
The above devotional was written for Cancer Companions, a wonderful and important ministry, and their soon to be released year-long daily devotional book for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. Inside the Journey: Daily Devotions from People Who've Known Cancer is a collaboration of several authors. I am grateful to be one.