1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” John 20:1-2
The season of Lent is quickly coming to a close and we will awaken soon to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday morning. The shift from Lent as we move through Maundy Thursday with its betrayal and denial of Jesus by his disciples and then into Good Friday where Jesus is crucified and dies is a stark and haunting conclusion to our period of reflection and penitence. And if it all ended there, we would be the most sad and forsaken of all people. But we know it doesn’t end on Good Friday nor even on Saturday as the disciples are hiding in fear for their lives. I have heard it said, “It may be Friday, but Sunday’s coming.”
At the beginning of my article are the first two verses of John’s gospel, chapter 20. The situation is this: Jesus has died, his body has been quickly prepared for burial and placed in a tomb. That tomb has been sealed and all his followers have scattered. And now we come to these verses. It is dawn of the first day of the week. It is dawn but still dark. And one lone follower, Mary Magdalene, comes to the tomb. She is the first to see that something has happened. She doesn’t know exactly what but she knows something has happened. And then she is the first to go and tell someone. Imagine yourself in Mary’s place, what would you have done? What would any of us do? Would we retreat back to where we had been hiding? Would we sit down and weep for the situation we find ourselves in? Or would we go tell someone and seek their help?
It is always interesting to consider such questions. In my study and research I am always reminding myself that as I read the scriptures I am reading them from the resurrection side of the cross. I know about the resurrection. I know who Jesus was and is. But I always ask myself, “would I have known if I had been on the other side of the cross?” I’d like to think I would have recognized Jesus as the Christ. But I might have missed it, just like so many others did. Just like the disciples.think I would have recognized Jesus as the Christ. But I might have missed it, just like so many others did. Just like the disciples.
With that being said, we have the opportunity in our life to never miss the truth of Jesus as Lord and Savior again. Each and every day, and each and every Sunday, we have the opportunity to see and tell others about the gift of a Savior that God has given to us. I invite you to share what you have seen and experienced by telling others about your experiences. Tell them about what you know and what you believe. And I encourage you to invite someone to come worship with us. I hope and pray that you will invite others to join us this Easter Sunday as we proclaim what God has done and what we have seen. I hope and pray that you will help me as we embark on our mission to tell the world that something wonderful has happened – CHRIST IS RISEN! See you in church this Easter.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Butler +