Wednesday after Easter
Scripture: St. John 20:1-18 (NKJV)
20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'”
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
All religions have a central, core value or belief. For some it is obedience to God. For others it is progression toward perfection. For Christianity, life and fellowship with God are at the heart of our religion. Overcoming death and having a restored loving relationship with God is what everything is about in Christianity. It is interesting that Christians proclaim essentially the same message at a funeral that they do on the most important feast day of the year. They proclaim life over death through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We preach the resurrection at a funeral, and we preach the resurrection at Easter.
It is a profoundly serious religion we have because it deals with the very heart of our existence. It deals with life and death even on the most important of celebration days. It is a profound religion because it is true, because it is God’s message to us. What is the message of the Word of God? The Apostle John lets us know that the Word is Jesus Himself. Jesus of Nazareth is the Word of God, the living Word. The words that came from His mouth two thousand years ago not only told about life, but were life itself, because they were from Him. Jesus didn’t just live, but was the source of life. He is the living one, as the angels said, “Why do you look for the living [one] among the dead?” His words are connected to His person. He is life, and His words are life.
We pray: May we always stay connected to the very source of life, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.