Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone was rolled aside from the entrance.
She ran and found Simon Peter and me and said, "They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!"
We ran to the tomb to see; I outran Peter and got there first, and stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there,but I didn't go in. Them Simon Peter arrived and went on inside. He also noticed the cloth lying there, while the swath that had covered Jesus' head was rolled up in a bundle and was lying at the side. Then I went in too, and saw, and believed [that he had risen] - for until then, we hadn't realized that the Scriptures said he would come to life again!
John 20:1-9 (TLB)
Jeff Evans lives in Texas. One Easter Sunday, his pastor preached on the account of the Resurrection in John 20. Jeff doesn't even recall what the main point of her message was because the phrase "while it was still dark" captured his attention.
Jeff and his wife had been going through a very difficult time regarding destructive choices that their teenage son was making. They had lost control, and they knew it. Their situation seemed hopeless, and it felt like it would go on forever.
But though the scripture reading began with "while it was still dark," as it continued it became clear that God had already been at work! Not only had the stone been rolled away but our Lord Jesus Christ had risen! In a time of perpetual sadness and despair, the Holy Spirit whispered to Jeff's heart that although his outward circumstances had not changed, the God of resurrection was at work in their son's life. Hope and faith were kindled in Jeff and his wife that Easter morning. How wonderful that our loving God speaks to us at our lowest moments, giving us the hope of resurrection and new life to come!
Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for the stories of hope we find in scripture, especially that of your Son's resurrection. Help us to trust in that living hope. We pray in His Holy name. Amen.