Thursday, November 19, 2015
Joanna - healed and heard
We've seen that our lady this week, Joanna, was healed by Jesus, and then she supported His ministry and shared the gospel in the palace. She was healed, and she was heard. One more time, we will see that she is heard . . .
Joanna was one of the grief-stricken women who made the sad trip to the tomb on that very first Lord's Day. Their steps were probably slow, and their parcels of spices and oils to anoint His battered body probably felt so very heavy. As they walked, they may have wondered aloud about the events of the last few days.
They might also have consoled themselves, as we humans do, by thinking of special memories of their lost One. Perhaps each of them re-told the story of how they came to know the Master. Mary could have told the story of His releasing her from the demons. Joanna could speak of how He had healed her, after many expensive consultations from doctors had been ineffective.
I wonder if they asked each other, "How are we going to move the stone?"
To their amazement, when they walked up the pathway to the tomb in which Joseph of Arimethea had allowed them to place the Lord, they saw that the stone was already rolled away!
The tomb was empty!
The Lord Jesus was alive -- He was no longer counted among the dead.
Suddenly the women saw two beings in clothing that was as bright as lightning, and these beings spoke to them:
Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, He
has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you
in Galilee: "The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of
sinners, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again." (Luke 24:5b-7)
Perhaps still trembling with fear and emotion, the women must have looked at each other -- how could they have forgotten? Yes! He did say that! And this is the third day!
We can be sure that they could not contain their joy. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, must have run as fast as they could -- the Bible tells us they went straight to the apostles. They must have joyously told the news, their words tumbling over each other's in their excitement. They probably were breathless from their running, and all of this made the apostles skeptical. It was difficult to understand them in their excited state, and what they were saying was incredible!
He is alive! The Master has risen!
Peter was probably just like all the others at first, but then he begins to wonder. Perhaps their words are not "idle tales" and perhaps he'd better go and check it out!
We know the rest of the story: Peter and another disciple dash to the tomb, and while one waits outside, Peter barges right in and sees the graveclothes there, empty. Then he believes the women. The rest of the disciples were clued in on things, and then Jesus appeared to small groups and large, before He ascended into heaven.
We don't know for sure, but I like to think that it's very logical that Joanna would have been among the group that day. Looking joyfully into the heavens, she would have been "all fired up" to spread the Word to everyone. She was there at the cross, and there at the empty tomb. She was among the first to proclaim that the Lord, whom she loved so dearly and served so well, was risen indeed.
Oh, that this was true in all of our lives. . . Surely we have been healed of our sins, just as Joanna was healed of sickness and sin. We know for a certainty that Jesus is alive -- we have proof in our own lives each day. Let's determine to re-kindle that fire within us; let's tell anyone and everyone of our Lord and Savior!