Day 30 – Finding Nothing
Matthew 28:1-20(NLT) Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” 8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. 9 And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”
Mark 16:1-7(NLT) Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3 On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. 5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
Commitment is a wonderful thing. Dedication and devotion for the right reasons are traits of people with great character.
We see these character qualities in the women who followed Jesus. Their love for Jesus did not stop at His death, just the opposite. They have seen Him die. They watched as He was laid in the tomb. They waited until the stone was rolled in front of the opening, and then they went home. Hearts broken, minds numb, hopes dashed and expectations shattered. Jesus, their Teacher, Healer, Deliverer and Lord now dead. But, because of their devotion and their love for Him, they are planning to be back. We see that they go home and start to prepare the spices to anoint His body. They run out of time as the Sabbath approaches and then wait for the Sabbath to be over before they continue. Luke 23:56(NLT) Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.
Mark says, as the Sabbath ended they went to buy some spices. These women put their money where their devotion is. They started on Friday, continued on Saturday and are up very early on Sunday, and on their way to the tomb. Their commitment to Jesus, even a dead Jesus in their minds, is relentless. There is something about devoted people, especially those who are devoted to the Savior, who will see things before anybody else sees them. The women are going to the tomb to do what they feel is necessary. They have an expectation. They will find the tomb. The stone will be a little bit of a problem. “Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3 On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”
Their expectation is to find Jesus’ body. We prepare for what we expect. You don’t prepare something for nothing. They prepared the spices to anoint His body. As they are walking to the tomb, each one of them are ready to do what needs to be done. But sometimes, God does not meet us at the level of our expectation. That is a good thing! Some of us should be very grateful that we don’t get what we always expect, because some of our expectations are not worth having. Luke 24:1(NIV) On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
Why does God not meet my expectations? Our expectations are based on fear, not faith. Our expectations are too small. Our expectations do not line up with God’s plan. We miss the obvious. Luke 24:2(NIV) They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
Sometimes we are so caught up in what we lose, that we miss what we find. We miss the obvious indicators that things are not the way they seem to be. We all have been there. We are so consumed by our disappointment and disillusionment, that we do not notice something has taken place. Not just missing something small, but missing something that is significant. The reason we miss it, is because we are not looking for it! The women were there on Friday when the tomb was sealed. They are having a discussion about who will be moving the stone. They arrive and the stone is rolled away.
Sometimes God is doing the miraculous right in front of us, and we just walk on by. We are so consumed with our own agenda or blinded by our own pain, that we can’t even see what God is doing right in front of our eyes! We only see what we are prepared to see. They were preparing for the dead, but they should’ve been looking for the living!
Luke 24:3-8(NIV) But when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
The stone is moved, they walk on in, and Jesus’ body is gone. They found nothing. Nothing but an empty tomb. Nothing but empty grave clothes. Nothing! Have you ever been there, that place called nothing? Finding nothing as it pertains to certain things in life, is not good. Do you have any resources? No, I have nothing. Did they find the missing hiker? No, they found nothing. Did they find the missing child? No, they found nothing. That place called nothing can be haunting. For these women they went expecting to find somebody. They prepared for something. They got ready for something. They worked all night for someone. But they ended up finding nothing.
Commitment, loyalty, and love took them to the tomb. It was because of their devotion that they were the first to find nothing. Then they saw Him and realized, that finding nothing, meant they found everything. You see only Jesus can make nothing mean everything. If you are feeling that you are at a place called nothing, look for the obvious. Don’t miss what needs to be seen. Don’t allow your pain to blind you to what you desperately need to see. Just like the women, when you see, you will remember His words…may you find nothing, so you will find everything.
- Pray and ask the Lord to help you evaluate your devotion to Him.
- Ask the Lord to remind you of His words He has spoken over you.
- Pray for spiritual sight to see what you need to see.
- Pray for your fellow believers that we will all renew our expectation according to God’s plan not ours.
- Thank Him for His faithfulness.