Great Expectations?

The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.’ And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest…  but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.” Luke 23:55-24:9,11-12

Again and again, Jesus had told His followers that He would be killed, and on the third day rise again. But as we humans tend to do, they heard only what they heard, and had no great expectations for what He was really saying to them. They wanted a present king, a deliverer from Roman rule, so when Jesus died, they buried their hopes for His triumph along with His body. (Matthew 17:22-23; 21:7-11; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22) 

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The women remembered what He had said only after the angel at the grave reminded them. It sank in- He had risen! Yet each one had to adjust expectations as the news spread: some needed physical proof; some, blind to Jesus even as He walked and talked with them, recognized Him only when He opened the scriptures and broke the bread, triggering a familiar memory; one needed to touch His hands and side. (Luke 24:13-45; John 20:27)

Where do I box Jesus in to my self-made limits and definitions for Him? When He teaches one thing, do I believe another? How do I twist His promises to fit my preferences? Where am I limiting His power, His grace to me, the reaches of His forgiveness, and mercy, and love?

Do I limit my expectations of what He can do in any given situation? Does weak faith diminish my hope for all He is able to do in the life of loved ones, a hard or broken heart, a foreboding future? Does limited vision inhibit confidence in invisible, supernatural purposes coming to pass? Do I assess God’s ability and adequacy by finite human measure?

To have great expectations I must regard my God as the great God He is, great beyond the heavens, limitless in love, mercy, and power over the enemy, greater than my sin. (1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 103:8,11-12; Romans 5:20; 1 John 4:4)

Father, increase my understanding of Your uncontainable greatness, and therefore my expectations of Your ways. Magnify Yourself before and through me.

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