But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.
With everything that’s going on these days, it’s no wonder that people are walking around with their heads down. Yes, some of it is that they are busy looking at their phones. Texting. Interacting with social media. Watching videos. Playing games.
But the simple fact is that people are under so much stress today. And with the added weight of fear, uncertainty, conspiracies, and not knowing who you can trust, it’s no wonder that people walk around with their heads down.
The same is true for these women. They had witnessed a most horrific public execution of Jesus. Seeing him after being whipped and brutalized, with a crown of thorns stuck into his head. Then, watching the brutal soldiers parade him through the streets till they arrived at the place of the skull. And finally, after seeing spikes driven through his hands and feet, he was raised up for all to see. To mock.
After walking about two miles early Sunday morning, they approached the tomb with dejected hearts. Bowed heads. Downcast eyes. Their hearts and heads were bent under the weight of their sadness. This Jesus, who had done nothing but live and speak just like God would, was now dead. All their hopes and dreams were as crushed and dead as Jesus was.
But then something happened. They turned a corner. They looked up.
When you look up, you recover your sight. When you’re looking down, you only see the ground. When you look up, you open yourself up to something that was there all along. It was unseen because of the position of your neck. The tilt of your head.
Walking to the tomb was their first steps toward a new perspective on life, but they hadn’t looked up yet. Lifting up their heads was the real first step into a whole new view on life. When they looked up, they saw the large stone had been moved. Their impossible problem had been solved. The rock was no longer blocking the entrance to the tomb. It had been set aside. In their wildest dreams they never imagined that sight. Not in a million years.
When you see something, you not only learn about it, but you also begin to experience it. It starts to change your perspective. It starts to open up new and different possibilities. It can make all the difference in the world.
I ask this question with great respect and sensitivity. Are we looking down or are we looking up? Is our perspective, our posture about life one of dejection where we only see the ground in front of us? Or are we looking up? Able to see what’s ahead? What’s in front of us?
When we look up, we see things that were there all along. The big but is that we didn’t see because our heads were down. When we look up, we can see things we never imagined. When we look up, we can see life from a whole different perspective. When we look up, we can start to see life from God’s point of view.
After describing a horrible time of tragedy and persecution, Jesus gives a few words of instruction about how to face the future.
So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!
Luke 21:28 NLT
When life happens, and it all seems like it’s going downhill, the most natural thing is to be taken down with it. And when life takes us down, so do our heads and eyes. We bend under its weight. And sometimes, that weight can even break us.
Jesus wants us to stand up. To look up. Our posture and position are not to be one of sitting down. Looking down at our circumstances. He wants us to stand up and keep looking up to God. He wants us to change from being down, looking down at what’s right in front of us to standing up and looking up to God and the future.
There’s a big difference between taking a look up and looking up. When you only look up, you’re taking a peek and then looking down again. Looking up keeps looking up. You stay looking up. You keep looking up.
When we stand up, we take the first step of faith. We change everything about ourselves. When we keep looking up to God, we acknowledge that even these things are under his control. He will turn them into his glory and plan.
So where do we go from here? If you’re under the weight of too much. So much that you’ve been pushed down. Your head and eyes are staring down. Here’s two things you need to do.
First – Stand up. This is an act of faith as we respond to God’s voice. Standing up doesn’t necessarily change or fix anything. But it changes where you are. How you’re responding to it.
Second – Look up. This is another act of faith where you take your eyes off yourself, your troubles, and put them on the one who loves you, who was raised from the dead for you.
It’s time to stand up. It’s time to look up.