Wednesday Word 4.04.2018

John 20:1-18 New International Version

20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying. 11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

These are astounding events. I cannot fathom how these people felt: the loss, the fear, the astonishment they must have experienced all in a short span of days. They left everything they knew to follow Jesus. They had traveled and experienced unbelievable drama unfold. Extraordinary healing. Walking on water and calming storms. Feeding thousands and thousands of people starved for more than bread. And we can’t forget, there were the ones Jesus raised from the dead. After all that and more, to see the Master they loved submit to the powers that be and be horribly tortured and killed must have been devastating. But this!

I don’t know what I would have thought and done if it were me outside that tomb. Jesus told them over and over what would happen, but it was still incredible to them. It is incredible to me today. But I must set aside my modern mind trained in the empirical world, and instead, grasp this story with my heart. This is God saving us from ourselves in a way that defies our concepts of life and death and the life that I am told is to come. This is God.

When I think about the God who wants us to come to him, to trust and rely on him, I am humbled. When I think about my own shortcomings, I am convicted. When I think about Jesus and his last days as a man, I am overwhelmed. All I can say is, “Thank you.”…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki