April 4 – Offer it Up
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag′dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo′me, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.”
The women went early the day after the Sabbath to properly prepare Jesus’ body for burial since they were rushed to burying Him before Sabbath had begun after His death. They were still focused on His death, and the horrible suffering He endured. When we are going through pain and suffering through our own pain and sickness, or the death of a close friend or family member, we often focus on our suffering and don’t turn to God for comfort. We will all suffer during our lives; it is just a part of our human condition. We are called to offer up our suffering for our sins just as Jesus offered up His suffering for all of our sins. It is a small way that we can join our suffering to the suffering of Jesus Christ and become more Christ-like.
The ladies were pondering how they were to remove the stone when they saw it was already rolled away. Mary Magdalene immediately ran to find Peter (John 20:1-2). The other ladies went into the tomb to find Jesus’ body gone and a young man who announced that Jesus had risen! Whenever Jesus spoke of His death, He always joined it with His resurrection, yet His disciples still thought they would find His body in the tomb. There are times when we go searching for Jesus in the wrong places. We feel like we have to travel long distances for a miracle, or we must pray in a certain place to find Him. Jesus goes to where we are, and as long as we call for Him in prayer, He will answer us according to the will of God.
Holy Saturday in Action:
Offer up your suffering (pain or illness) up to Jesus as reparation for your sin and the sins of your family.
Lord Jesus, You suffered so much although you were the pure undeserving Lamb of God. Thank you for offering yourself for my sins, and I in turn offer up my suffering for my sins and those of my family. I look forward to celebrating the Empty Tomb tomorrow! In your Holy Name. Amen.