The Third Day
Father, I praise You for Your gift of life! The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed. Hallelujah!
Read John 20:1–10
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. 2 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!”
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectNow we move from the hill of Calvary to the garden of resurrection: from death to life, from desolation to hope.
The first Easter morning is full of emotion: fear, confusion, excitement, joy. And there’s lots of running! At the center of all this activity stands an empty tomb. Jesus, who still dominates the story, has gone missing. Whatever has happened? We know, of course, that his absence spells resurrection. A new age has dawned; eternity has invaded time and nothing will ever be the same.
But in the grey light of dawn in the garden it is very different. Mary feels only anxiety: the body of Jesus has been stolen and now lost in the streets of Jerusalem. Peter, out of breath, behind the younger John, rushes into the tomb and doesn’t know what to think. Then John sees and believes that a miracle has occurred.
Once again, the vivid story calls across the years to you and me. Perhaps we too are running around, distracted by conflicting emotions. Can we find our place in the garden? Like Mary we may be anxious, or like Peter, bewildered. But as we stand at the empty tomb this Easter day, let’s pray that like John we may see and believe and be filled with new joy and fresh purpose.
What does Easter really mean? Let the enormity of Easter overwhelm you today.
Father, I am overwhelmed by Your power and love. Thank You for new life. Let Your life shine through me today.
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