After the women saw where Jesus was buried, “they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” (Luk 23:55-24:1 NRS).
Jesus died on Friday. His female followers stayed with Jesus’s body from the cross to the tomb and then went home to prepare spices and ointments to be used to give him a proper burial. They knew they had to finish with the burial preparations before the Sabbath when it was required that they rest.
These women were planners and doers and fearless. But they were also confused. And what they were doing Friday late into the night was a waste of time. For they were preparing spices for a body that would not be dead when they arrived to care for it on Sunday at day break.
I am certain that I would have done the same thing. But if they had known – had trusted – that Jesus wouldn’t be dead Sunday morning, what might they have done Friday night instead? They wasted time worrying, preparing for the worst, unable to imagine the amazing and good possibilities. Had they not understood what Jesus had told them would happen? Did they not believe the promises he had made? They could have spent the time in wonder and in peace. But they worked. Wasted energy and time.
Like these women, I too have wasted a lot of time worrying and preparing for the worst between the crucifixion and the resurrection. Instead of living in joyful anticipation of what God will do next, I busy myself with things that I don’t even realize won’t matter in the morning. I refuse to really hear his promises and grab hold of them. I prepare burial spices when I could be preparing a celebration!
O God, transform me! Let me have faith that death – all the little deaths and all the big ones – have no power over me. Let me have faith that the resurrection is coming! And that in the power of the resurrection, I will be empowered to be your hands and feet. Amen.