Sunday, April 1, 2018

Special Easter Post. He is Risen!

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. 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!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
John 20:1-9

Read on to see why I chose this picture of the empty tomb.

The account of Easter morning by John is my favorite.

Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb early on Sunday morning. Other gospels list names of women who went to put the funeral spices on Jesus’ body. She finds the tomb empty and hurries back to tell the disciples.

John and Peter take off running to the tomb. Whether they didn’t believe Mary or just because of their personalities, isn’t clear.

John, being younger and obviously faster, hits the skids at the opening.

Peter lumbers up behind him. 

The same Peter who
  • said to Jesus, “You are the Christ.”
  • stepped out of the boat and into the stormy waters at Christ’s summons.
  • wanted to build utterly inappropriate memorials after Jesus’ transfiguration.
  • hacked off the ear of a temple guard with a sword when they came to take Jesus to trial.
  • denied even knowing Jesus in the courtyard outside Jesus’ trial.

 To no one’s surprise, THAT Peter storms past John and is “first inside” the now empty tomb.

John joins him inside.

Neither disciple understands the significance, even though Jesus gave them a personal parable about destroying the temple and having it rebuilt in three days.

I don’t blame them. They were on the “before side” of the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

If you don’t know the Jesus who rose from the grave on that first Easter Sunday,
  • don’t be a John and not go into the relationship. And,
  • don’t be a Peter and rush in but miss the point
  • Be the John and Peter who led the early church in the book of Acts.

That Peter said, 
"Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away - whomever, in fact, our Master God invites."
Acts 2:38-39 [The Message Bible]
 If you listen
                          you can hear God
                 inviting you
                                                                  right now

He is risen!

He is risen, indeed!

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