Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (24); 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; Luke 24:1-12
The expectations we bring to a situation shape our way of interpreting the situation.
A classic example, man goes to the cupboard to look for the potato chips. He does not see them. He yells an inquiry to the wife about where the potato chips are? I thought you brought some from the store the other day? Wife comes and pulls them off the shelf. The bag of chips was on the next shelf down and to the left 6 inches.
Oh, he says. They weren't where they were supposed to be. His expectations shaped the way he interpreted the situation. Chips aren't where they are supposed to be, so therefore, they aren't in the house.
The followers of Jesus are shell shocked. It's been the absolute worst 72 hours of their life. Jesus, their hope for the future, betrayed by one of their own, beaten, and crucified. Dead and in a tomb.
Even though Jesus has explained what will happen at least three times, that the Son of Man must suffer, die and on the third day rise again, it simply did not shape their imaginations or expectations. While they had hope, admiration, loyalty, and love for Jesus, they did not yet have faith in Jesus as the Christ, the author of our salvation.
The women who come to the tomb come with an old covenant of salvation expectation. They come to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body because they think that he is dead. They do have confidence in resurrection on the Last Day - Martha said so outside our brother Lazarus' tomb. But, they did not expect resurrection NOW. They did not expect Jesus to be the resurrection and the life NOW.
Peter comes to the tomb with an old covenant expectation. He is puzzled. He along with the other Apostle's does not believe the women. An idle tale, they agreed. Peter comes to see the empty tomb with old covenant expectations. He sees an empty tomb and is baffled. He has yet to be converted to the new covenant. We will learn of his conversion later. But, the women have been converted. They now have faith. They see things with the expectation of the new covenant in Christ.
The Angels get the process going for them: The Angels ask that question, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?" And then they remind the women of what Jesus has said.
The WORD sank in and they have faith. They trust the words of Jesus and know that he is not dead. He has not been moved or stolen away. He is alive. Resurrection has happened in this very tomb and Jesus is alive! Christ is risen!
In Christ's resurrection, the powers of hell are defeated. The devil, sin, and death, lose their grip upon us when we have faith in The crucified and risen Christ. Our faith in Christ brings salvation through forgiveness and new life and the promise of everlasting life. The resurrection of Jesus will be our resurrection.
Good and Holy news for us.
Let us continue announcing our faith in Jesus, the Christ, who has died and risen for us.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!