Readings:  Proverbs 27:1-24 and John 20:1-18 

Additional Reading:  Proverbs 28:1-29:27

Proverbs 27:1: Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

John 20:1-2: 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.”

 

“What a Difference a Day Makes”

For these last couple days our Gospel reading has brought us from the Upper Room, to the Garden of Gethsemane, from the courtyards of Pilate and Herod, to the cross at Golgtha, and now to the tomb.  That was a span of just under four days.  A lot has taken place, and like news events in our day, we have to take the details apart and study them to see the sequence and importance of each person, thing, event, time, and location.  That is why we need to meditate on the Passion, suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord frequently to grasp the depth of what our Lord Jesus Christ, the risen Savior, has done for each of us.

Imagine being Mary Magdalene, the one from whom seven unclean spirits had been removed.  A demon a day.  Imagine what your Tuesday demon is like, then multiply it by 7.  Then you’ll get the idea of the torment from which Jesus delivered Mary.  Now she is approaching the tomb as daylight is just beginning to break.  

The other women, according to the parallel accounts in the Gospel, are wondering just who is going to move the stone away.  Who would move it so they could get in and properly anoint Jesus’ body for burial.  That’s their custom and practice.  That’s the stewardship of the body which the Jews performed in reverence to the Lord’s promise of life after death.

But when Mary gets to the tomb, it’s empty!  She reports this to the disciples.  The disciples, in turn, send two of them as a witness to affirm that this is indeed the case.  As we read the rest of the resurrection account, that tomb is empty; Jesus’ body replaced by living angels and men who testify that this Jesus who was crucified, is not here but is risen, just as He prophesied. 

This is a whole different scene than what we witnessed on Good Friday.  What a difference a day makes.  There was a day of rest in between this early morning arrival at the tomb and the sorrowful exit from when the Sabbath began that last Friday evening.  

Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount:  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matthew 6:34).  While the women heading to the tomb that Easter morning did have anxiety, it was more of how to roll that huge stone away from the tomb.  But when they found the stone rolled away, their anxiety shifted.  Now they are concerned that there is no body for them to anoint.  

Does that happen to you?  Do your anxieties draw you to fear and trembling?  We’ve seen much fear and trembling these last several months due to the COVID-19 virus.  But Scripture’s counsel and Jesus’ deepening the meaning of the Wisdom literature of the Bible echo in our ears today.  We don’t know what the next day will bring, or how it will unfold, or how to change it.  

God, however does.  His solution?  The resurrection of Jesus.  That changed everything.  From fear to faith.  From anxiety to hope and from death to life.  Don’t we need that today?  And to think, what a difference a day makes.  You’ve read this today, and you are thinking that your life is now given hope.  Now, you may have believed this yesterday, but isn’t it a blessing from God that He continues to keep that hope alive for us every day?  What a difference a day makes, especially as God gives us that day—the day of resurrection!

 

Let us pray:
O Lord, in the midst of fear, anxiety, and death, give us faith, hope, and life through Your Son, Jesus Christ.  While we give concern for taking care of the things You have entrusted to us, let those things not replace our faith and trust in what You have done for us.  Guide us through this time of waiting, keep us healthy and safe, and grant healing to those afflicted with the virus or its consequences.  We pray this in the name of the risen Savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Our Father…

The LORD will keep you from all evil;
The Lord will keep your life.
The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.  Amen.  (Psalm 121:7-8)