Today has been a glorious day for my family! After worshipping together this morning and before we ate our meal, we gathered together around WAY too much food and prayed. Alan stated that, while we celebrate our risen Savior every day, we acknowledge today that millions of people are also celebrating Him! For 24 hours all around the entire world, there will be people praising our risen Lord out loud and on purpose. What a day this is!
After being lied about, arrested, abandoned, tortured and murdered, Jesus then appeared first to a woman. The Creator of the universe, the one who walked on water, transported his disciples across the sea in an instant, raised Lazarus from a 4-day-old grave, the instigator of time, space and dimensions could have easily appeared to the chief priests, Pharisees and rulers with a resounding, “Look at me! I’m alive! I told you so!”
But instead, he quietly spoke to Mary Magdalene, who was crying at the site of that empty tomb. See, she thought someone had stolen the body of her friend, and she so wanted to honor it with her spices and ointments.
John 20:11ff “but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’
“’They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
“’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.’ Jesus said to her, 'Mary.'
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic ‘Rabboni!’”
John says she went back to the disciples and said, “I have seen the Lord!”
Jesus appeared to his disciples that night. With the disciples still frightened for their lives, they were hiding in a room in the city with the doors locked. Jesus came and stood among them. Again, instigator of time, space and dimensions. He said, “Peace be with you.”
Can you imagine? I’m sure the reason Jesus said that is because they were all petrified with fear. He then immediately charged them with a task: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
I think a similar phrase would be, “Pull up your big boy pants. You have work to do.”
Jesus appeared to his disciples twelve times in the forty days after his resurrection. He ate fish with them and fed them spiritually. For all the doubts each of them had before, they would all die a martyr’s death (except for John) because of their belief in Him. They went from running away from Jesus that Thursday night to running to the entire world telling them about Him. They spend the rest of their lives trying to convince all people to turn their lives over to Jesus.
These simple blog posts have had one purpose: to turn your attention and efforts into getting to know Jesus a bit more. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” He doesn’t change with the culture. He doesn’t change because the rulers and authorities disagree with Him. He doesn’t change. Period.
If you want to know who Jesus is right now, read the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They show his words, his humor, his compassion, his mercy, his kindness. They also show his boldness for Truth. Overall, they show his love.
The cross and the empty tomb both give us hope.
Cross: we can have all of our sins removed. No more guilt. No more shame.
Empty Tomb: we can live forever, celebrating together, with our Savior.
Don’t miss Jesus. He is everything!