“But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.'” (Mark 16:7)
Early on that morning of the first day of the week, after Jesus had been crucified two days before, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, brought spices to anoint the body of Jesus. They had no idea how they’d get to his body. They knew that the stone in front of the tomb was massive. There was no way they could possibly move it. They might even have gone without the blessing or knowledge of the disciples. None of the men–not Peter, James or John–had gone to roll away the stone, most likely because they knew a guard had been posted there.
But the women were compelled, just as they were compelled to follow Him when they first looked into His eyes. And when they arrived, they found an angel sitting there, waiting for them. This is the great tenderness of God, that when we go looking for Him, we do not come up empty handed. We do not find an empty tomb, with no Savior, and no idea where He has gone. When we go looking for Him, He will always meet us. We will not be left alone.
And then the angel said words that we must take note of: “He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.”
Just as He said to you.
We are so like those three women. We don’t take Him at His word. Sure, they must have thought, He said that after 3 days He would rise again, but who does that? He must have meant something else. He was dead and that was that.
But He did exactly what He said. And when He says that He will never leave us or forsake us, He means it. He is here, right now. And when He says that our heavenly Father will provide for us, it’s true. And when He told the disciples that these signs would accompany those who believed: that in His name they would cast out demons, they would speak with new tongues, they would pick up serpents, and if they drank deadly poison, it would not hurt them, and if they lay hands on the sick, they will recover–it’s all true.
And when He said He would come again to gather us to Him, He will. Just as He said to us.
The biggest challenge of the Christian walk is faith. Taking Jesus at His word. We live in a world where people rarely keep their word. Talk is cheap. And most people half-expect others to let them down.
My 17-year-old daughter has had a tough time learning that many of the kids in her school say things they don’t plan to follow through on. Many times they have said they want to go with her to an event, or get together sometime over the weekend, only to find that they stand her up at the last minute. She got to the point where she would literally set up 3 different friends to do something over the weekend, because she knew that at least 2 out of 3 would not come through. Often, 3 out of 3 would not come through. And she would sit there realizing that her friends weren’t really friends at all.
So it’s not surprising, then, that when Jesus says He will do something, we have a hard time believing He really means it. That His word is truth. We have to defy our belief system and take a frightened step out onto the water toward Jesus.
But one thing we know. In the Bible, Jesus always, always, always did what He said He would do. There was not one single time that He did not come through. And when He said Peter would deny Him 3 times, Peter did so. When He said that the Holy Spirit would come to them after He ascended, He did.
Every word He said is trustworthy. It is more solid than the ground beneath our feet, more predictable than the seasons, more everlasting than the stars in the heavens.
We can take Him at His word, because He is the word of God. Amen.