Day 40 :: Remember!
“He is not here but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” And they remembered his words.
My memory can be terrible. I need lists and calendars to help me remember what I need to do and when. I often need reminded of names, or how I know people. I forget films I’ve watched, or conversations that have happened. We’re limited humans, so there’s only so many things we can keep in our brain, and with busy daily life there are plenty things that can distract us. That said, some folk just have a much higher capacity than others!
Yesterday we saw that the religious elites remembered what Jesus had said. They remembered because it cut them deeply and they feared him and his following. Today though, we see that his followers needed reminded.
The Sabbath had come and gone, and on the Sunday morning some women planned to take some spices to put on Jesus’ buried body. In Mark’s gospel we read about them wondering how to get into the tomb, they knew a huge stone had been rolled across the entrance.
As it happens, they needn’t have worried, and they needn’t have brought their spices either. The stone was rolled away, and the body was no longer there.
They were understandably confused. These were the women who had faithfully followed Jesus to the end. They saw him executed and buried.
Instead of finding a lifeless corpse they were greeted by two blazing angels. From confusion to fear, the women hit the deck in front of these mighty warriors of light.
Matthew’s gospel paints more details. There had been an earthquake and an angel had moved the stone, leaving the Roman guards frozen in fear.
The women didn’t need to fear, they needed to remember.
”He is not here but he has risen!”(v6)
Jesus died, yes. But that wasn’t the end.
”Remember how he spoke to you…”(v6)
Jesus had been pretty direct about his destiny, but they hadn’t pieced together the meaning. Maybe they hadn’t taken those prophecies literally because he had spoken so often in parables. That’s not clear, but what is certain is that the angels reminded them of Jesus’ very own words.
‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day?’(v7)
It happened exactly as Jesus had said. He was betrayed by Judas for a quick buck. He was tried by the sinful religious elites and the secular court of Pilate. He was crucified on a cross as a criminal. On the third day, he rose again! Exactly as he said he would.
And they remembered his words.(v8)
It all came flooding back. It all started to make sense. They still had much to learn, but they remembered their master’s words, and ran to tell the other followers.
I’ve heard a story of Martin Luther being asked by a church member, “Why do you preach the same Gospel to us each week?” To which Luther reportedly replied, “Because every week you forget it.” I’m not sure it’s a quote that’s 100% accurate, but the point is good and true. We need constantly reminded of the Gospel.
We constantly need reminded of our sinfulness to free us from our self-righteousness.
We daily need to hear the call to turn from sin knowing that it has been paid for in full.
We forever need told that God is gracious and welcomes us back.
We always need to hold on to the hope that one day Jesus will return.
We so often forget, so we need reminded.
Daily life, stresses, joys, and responsibilities can cloud our minds. Our own sin blinds us, our hearts deceive us. Temptations all around us pull us away to distraction and escape. It’s a daily battle!
I will remember the LORD’s works;
yes, I will remember your ancient wonders.
I will reflect on all you have done
and meditate on your actions.
Plan to take time today, and every day, to remember all that Jesus had said and done. Then share what we’ve remembered (or learnt!) with others who need to remember it too.
Passages to read: Luke 24:1-12, Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, John 20:1-10
A thought to remember: Jesus calls his people to remember him.
A question to ask: How can you take time to remember Jesus and help others remember Jesus?
A song to sing: Look Again