Luke 24:1-9, 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, while He was still in Galilee, 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.
Back in December, I wrote a blog entry called God Knows, and I wrote about how God always knows of our suffering, whether personal or global, even thousands of years before we experience it. In the same way, God never forgets. Genesis 3:15 is known as the protoevangelium, or “first Gospel promise,” which is where we find the first promise for a Saviour. Here, God said to Eve and the snake, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” God did not forget this promise all those thousands of years before the birth and death of Christ, He did not forget when Tamar seduced her father-in-law Judah to lay with her because he was denying her right to have a husband, and God worked through their sin to birth Perez. God did not forget when the line of Perez led to the birth of Boaz, who married Ruth, who birthed Obed, “who fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David” (Ruth 4:22), which led to the birth of Jesus (see Matthew 1 for the genealogy of Jesus). God never forgot the promise He made to mankind! This promise was fulfilled on the cross, where Satan bruised His heel, and in His death and resurrection He bruised Satan’s head.
And now we wait for the resurrection to come at the second coming of Jesus. God has not forgotten this promise, and He never will. I want you to focus on the words I put in bold in the above passage in Luke: “Remember how He told you.” The women and the disciples all forgot that Jesus told them He would die and be resurrected on the third day. In Luke, He tells them this three times (9:21-22, 43b-45; 18:31-34), yet they all forgot what He had told them. It was because “they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said” (18:34). Understanding what Jesus meant was far from them, yet when the women told the disciples, they didn’t believe until Peter literally ran to the tomb after being told the news and returned with the same testimony as the women (24:10-12). Yet the women also forgot. They didn’t remember what Jesus said—and they didn’t understand what He said—until the angels told them. Suddenly, at its fulfilment, they understood what Jesus meant. In the same way, we don’t understand our future resurrection. When it occurs, suddenly it will become clear to us.
As we live our lives, doing the same daily things, it is easy to forget about the resurrection to come. We forget all the time, and we forget its enormous significance for both believers and unbelievers. Believers will be raised in a resurrection like His (Romans 6:5), and unbelievers will be judged to condemnation, and even those already dead will be resurrected for judgement. But until He returns, all living people have the opportunity to repent and start a relationship with Jesus, being reconciled to the Father. He invites us all to be baptised into His death, “in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
God did not forget the first coming of His Son, and He will certainly not forget His second coming.