Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just As He Said

In the 24th chapter of Luke we read where Mary Magdalene and the other women had gone to the tomb that day to anoint the body of Jesus. When they got there the stone was rolled away and Jesus’ body was gone. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed stood beside them.

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground but the men said to them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” In the book of John, while still at the tomb wondering what was going on Mary turned around and saw Jesus standing there but she did not realize who it was.

Thinking He was possibly one of the gardeners Mary asked Him if He knew where they had taken the body. “If you let me know I’ll go and get it and take care of it,” she said. All He had to say to her was “Mary,” and she instantly recognized Him. Her immediate reaction was to shout out “Rabboni!” which means Teacher.

Here she was worrying about what possibly could have happened to His body and low-and-behold there He was speaking her name. Boy her heart had to be racing to the point of tachycardia as Christ’s words to her were, “Don’t be afraid, go and tell my brothers.”

It doesn’t take much to picture her rushing efforts to get to the disciples to tell them the news. Her breathless words to them as she panted to catch her breath and get her heart to calm down were, “I’ve seen the Lord.” In spite of all the excitement bubbling up in her words the disciples didn’t believe her or the other women that were with her because to them their words were like nonsense. Peter was the only one that got up and ran to the tomb to see what was happening.

Praise God for the truth of the statement from the angel at the tomb that day when he said, “He has risen, just as He said.” A message that should be told today with the same enthusiasm heard in Mary’s voice when she ran to tell the good news about seeing the Lord. We may get the same response Mary did but the message still needs to be heard, “I’ve seen the Lord! He has risen!”

My oldest granddaughter figuring she had missed something at the church one day asked me, “Grandma, when is the church going to put Jesus back on the cross in the sanctuary instead of the robe and thorn crown that are draped there?” I told her that none of us have seen Him there, He has risen and the only way back on the cross was if we do it ourselves.

Hebrews 6:6 tells us how impossible it is for those who have once been enlightened and have tasted the heavenly gift who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace.

Recently in the news a claim was made regarding some bones found in a casket that they were the actual bones of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and their baby. To them this discovery nullified the authenticity of the resurrection. Digging further into the story, the finding of the bones was made in the early 1980’s and after DNA testing the conclusion was made that the two sets of bones in the casket were not related---end of story. Not quite, over 20 years later the subject is brought up again using it as an attempt to publicly disgrace the message of the cross.

Try as people might to prove the message of the cross wrong, the truth remains Christ has risen just as He said He would, and He is returning for us as well just as He said He would. We ourselves need to be ready for that return, getting as many people dressed for the occasion as they are clothed in Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father how awesome it is that you have always done just as you said and returning to bring us home is a part of that. We pray dear Lord for those not ready who still need to get dressed giving up the thought of this being nonsense and join Your family in a reunion that will beat all gatherings, the jamboree with You Lord God for all eternity. Amen!

© 2007 by Karen J. Gillett

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