John, The Love of God
There is no greater pain or uncontrolled panic than when you lose a kid in the mall. We were shopping with our oldest (of now eight) grand-kids, long ago. But I remember it as if were yesterday! Joey was just a toddler. He was with us and then in seconds he was not in eyesight. Panic was our first thought, then prayer. We said his name over and over, looking everywhere. What seemed like an eternity but only seconds, Joey popped his head out from a clothes rack and said, “Are you looking for me, Grandma?” “I was here all the time” with giggles leading to laughter. I was not laughing. Tears of joy and relief came to my eyes.
“Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”, says Jesus to Mary who is distraught for fear the body of her Lord has been taken. She and the disciples are still reeling in pain from Jesus death. They have forgotten what He said about rising from death three days later. “No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.” Peter and John left the empty tomb to go tell the others that the body was missing.
But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. Can we imagine her panic and anguish? Angels came to reassure her and calm her. But she turned away from them to see Jesus standing there. She did not recognize him through her tears so He spoke to her, “Mary” with a Voice she recognized because she was one of his sheep who hears only the Voice of the Shepherd. She realizes Jesus has been here all the time.
Jesus gives her the command to “Go tell”. And she does.
Who are you looking for this Christmas season? Are you weeping over what you have lost or rejoicing because Jesus, whom you search, has been there all along. Are you looking for joy? Jesus restores our joy when we turn around and recognize Him, hear His Voice of peace and calm to us with His assurance that He is there all the time. Anguish weeping is replaced with joyful, abundant living knowing that He was there all the along.
Who are you looking for?
Mary experienced the resurrection of her Lord and Savior. Are we only experiencing the birth, the coming of our Lord? That’s only the beginning of belief. Believe and experience the resurrection of our Savior! It is the baseline of our belief! Don’t miss seeing Him for Who His was, is and is to come!
John 20, The Message
1-2 Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.”
3-10 Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.
11-13 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”
13-14 “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.
15 Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”
16 Jesus said, “Mary.”
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”
17 Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.
Who are we looking for?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for opening the eyes of our Spirit as we turn to look into Your face of glory. Continue to teach and assure us. Continue to transform us. You ARE there all the time. I believe. Thank you for rising to life, defeating death, once and for all. Thank you for revealing Yourself to us still in the form of Your Holy Spirit. You are Who we are looking for. There is no one like You, Lord!
In Jesus Name, Amen
And we sing…
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the Light of His Glory and Grace!