Day 220: August 8, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Matthew 28:2-4
Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.
—Matthew 28:2

Unexpected Hope
by Kelly Severino, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

When I read this passage, I often put myself in the shoes of the two women: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. They woke up before dawn to go and prepare Jesus’s body for burial.

I imagine them at their lowest—rock bottom. Just three days earlier, they stood at the foot of the cross, watching the man they claimed to be God’s Messiah crucified.

I bet they questioned everything: Had the past several years serving Him been a waste? Was He really nothing more than another prophet in Israel’s long line of spokesmen rejected by the people?   

For Mary Magdalene, Jesus had changed her life completely. He’d cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2), and her life had since revolved around Him. I wonder if the fear of her past seeped back into her mind. Without Jesus, would she turn into the woman she was before? Would the demons stay away even if He were dead?

With despair, the two women walked to the tomb as they prepared to face the death of Jesus again.

However, as they drew near, they discovered a miracle had happened. An angel appeared, dressed in all of heaven’s glory, and rolled the tomb away. In an instant, their lives changed.

Did they suddenly remember the old prophecies and Jesus saying He’d indeed rise from the grave? Was it too good to be true? In this moment, in fear and joy, they watched as everything they could have dreamed came true.

This passage, for me, is such a reminder that God shows up big in our most broken moments. Although He’s provided in numerous ways throughout my life, the moment my world turns upside down, I find myself dismissing His promises and doubting His existence.

Even in my fleeting faith, I watch Him use these exact moments to reveal Himself when I least expect it.

Reflection Questions

  1. Is there a time where you were broken and Christ showed up when you least expected it?
  2. Perhaps like Mary Magdalene did, do you find yourself questioning whether Jesus redeemed your past for good?
  3. How can you better trust God to provide in the messy areas of your life today?

About the Author

Kelly Severino