Easter Sunday – March 27, 2016
Day 47 – John 20:1-18
Focus: vss. 14-16
14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she 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 in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
Every good story has a moment where all seems lost before a glorious climax where the good guys pull out a stunning victory. John is telling just such a story. We get three years-worth of Jesus battling the bad guys and doing amazing things. He’s the hero of the story and everyone is pulling for Him. But the bad guys are getting angrier and angrier and you know that it’s all going to come to a head. Finally the bad guys do what bad guys do – they fight dirty. So they arrest Jesus and level false charges against him. According to the other gospels they bring in false witnesses to solidify their case before handing Him over to the Roman authorities. John shortens the story a bit and gives you the bare details. There is a trial, there is a crucifixion, there is a resurrection. The crucifixion is the moment where the bad guys have won. Jesus loses. This can’t be. Then the glorious climax when the tomb is found empty and Jesus walks out alive and well.
These are some great verses. Peter and John see the empty tomb and go home but Mary Magdalene stays behind and weeps for Jesus. Then she peers into the tomb and sees something very unusual: two angels are sitting where the once-dead Jesus was. She asks where they took the body of her Lord and then another guy shows up. It’s Jesus but she doesn’t recognize Him. I wonder if she couldn’t see through the tears or her mind just couldn’t fit the puzzle together as she knew well that Jesus had died on that cross. How could he possibly be here now? So he says her name and suddenly she knows who he is.
Jesus called her name and she recognized his voice. The Shepherd called to his sheep and she recognized his voice. It’s an amazing moment when Jesus calls your name. I’d recognize that voice anywhere. It’s the voice of the Risen Savior. Climax. The grave couldn’t hold him. Death couldn’t beat him. Satan couldn’t win. All seemed lost until the stone rolled away and Jesus walked out alive.
Do you realize what Jesus has done for you? We’re fond of saying that Jesus died for you but, even more importantly, Jesus lives for you. His death provided the sacrifice to pay the penalty of all the sins of humanity. His blood can wash our hearts clean. But if the Savior doesn’t defeat death, then we can never defeat death. Jesus defeats death on our behalf. Jesus has won the victory and you can have eternal life because He lives.
Prayer Focus: Dear Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. Thank you for defeating death so that I might live eternally. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Help me to live my life knowing that it is a gift from you. Thank you for saving me. Amen.