Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook from fear of him and became like dead men.

The two Marys had seen it all happen just two days before. Jesus had died. They watched Him hanging on the cross. They watched Him breathe His last breath. They watched as Joseph of Arimathea took down His body from the cross, wrapped it, and placed Him in a tomb. It must have seemed like such an abrupt end to the man who was supposed to be their Savior. But even in the midst of such tragedy, these women would serve their Savior in one last way (or so they thought).

After a great earthquake, an angel appeared, “rolled away the stone, and sat upon it.” This was so significant that even the guards were terrified and passed out. As the women walked toward the tomb, perhaps they had imagined what they would find and the difficulty of seeing Jesus lying in a tomb. They likely experienced many emotions on their journey, but they probably never expected what they found.

While we won’t have the same experience these two women did, we will often be met with unexpected encounters with Jesus. Just like the women, we are called to be committed to Jesus no matter what. Unlike the women as they began that day, we know the power of the resurrection. We can be sure that, since Jesus has overcome death, He will be faithful to meet us along our way. The women couldn’t have planned for such an encounter that day at the tomb, but in their going, they were met with God’s moving.

  • What do you think was running through the women’s minds in this moment? What would you have been thinking and feeling?
  • Have you ever had an unexpected encounter that you knew the Lord was behind? What was your response? How have you seen the Lord work even when you weren’t expecting it?
  • Take some time to thank God for His ability to work, even when we least expect it. Ask for open eyes and ears for such opportunities. Ask Him for the willingness to continually go and see what He is doing in your midst.