Sometimes the oddest phrase will jump out at me when I’m reading the Bible. And sometimes if I spend enough time with it, eventually it starts to make a little sense . . . to become relevant . . . at least to my life.
I’m finishing up the book of Matthew (still) and I came across an odd phrase. Verse 1 in Matthew 28 says that the Mary’s went to “look at the tomb”.
This is on the Sunday morning after Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday. Not only was Jesus buried in a tomb and a large stone placed in front of the entrance, but because He had told His followers He would rise from the dead, Roman guards were on duty there to be sure Jesus’s dead body remained exactly where it had been placed.
So when the Mary’s decided to go to the tomb that morning, they apparently weren’t expecting to be able to do anything. Matthew says they were going to “look” at it.
Jesus was dead. His body was lifeless. The tomb was sealed. And guarded.
The Mary’s knew there was nothing they could do when they got there . . . except “look”.
But they went anyway.
They were helpless. And hopeless. And probably disappointed. And I’m sure emotionally spent.
But they went anyway. Just to “look”.
What about me? Do I go anyway?
When everything in a situation seems hopeless, do I still go . . . just to “look”?
Have I invested enough of my life in my relationship with God that even when I see no hope, even when I’ve been devastated, even when things haven’t worked out like I thought He said they would . . . and even when I know for a fact there is absolutely no thing I can possibly do about any of it . . .
Do I still go . . . just to “look”? Maybe from a different perspective. Possibly with a new set of eyes.
And if I do go, what am I looking for?
What were the Mary’s looking for?
Because of their close relationship with Jesus and because of who they had known Him to be . . . did they possibly have a glimmer of hope? A mustard seed’s worth of faith? An ounce of belief?
Were they taking those with them to the tomb? Were they hoping against hope that He would do something beyond what was humanly possible in the situation?
Isn’t that what He asks of us? What He asks of me? A mustard seed’s worth of faith (that’s not much!) . . . that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do?
Even when things appear to be hopeless? . . . . Or maybe especially when things appear to be hopeless!
So what am I doing? Have I given up? Or am I going to “look”?
Am I paralyzed with grief or fear at the loss of a relationship, a job, a lifestyle, a calling, a purpose . . . that I thought would last? . . . that I thought would turn out differently?
Or am I getting up and taking the ounce of belief I have left . . . and going back to the place where my hope died . . . just to “look”?
To see what God might decide to change . . . beyond what is humanly possible?
What aspect of my life have I given up on? Could it be that God hasn’t?
What is it in my life that appears to be over? Done. Dead. Buried. Sealed up. Hopeless.
Is it something God may want to resurrect? Possibly in a totally changed form?
And how will I ever know . . . if I don’t take my tiny mustard seed of faith and go . . . just to “look”?