Mighty God, as I face suffering in the painful corners of life, remind me again of the meaning of Christ’s resurrection.
Read John 20:1-10
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Death cannot keep his prey, Jesus my Savior; he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord” (Robert Lowry, 1826-99). Thanks be to God for his mighty work!
Throughout his Gospel, John has used choice words and deft phrases to convey rich meaning. Here we read, “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary … saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance” of the tomb (1).
“The first day” echoes Genesis 1:3-5, the beginning of creation, when God commanded light to appear and life began. So on this “first day of the week,” re-creation commences as Christ overcomes all that would destroy life, and new beginnings become possible for believers. Whatever had happened previously, God was doing a new thing. True, it was “still dark”–a word which has symbolized evil (John 3:19; 8:12; 12:35; 13:30). The effects of sin and of Satan’s handiwork were not going to be banished suddenly or automatically; rather, the message was to spread as the dawn does. Gradually, the news would extend around the world. Gradually, people would wake up to its significance. Gradually, lives would be liberated, forgiven, and transformed until, eventually, creation itself will find total healing when Christ returns.
The first to witness the empty tomb was a woman, Mary, which is extraordinary since, at that time, women were considered too unreliable to be witnesses. She begins to spread the message and runs to tell it to Peter. He and another male disciple ran to the tomb but were no quicker to grasp the significance of what had happened than she was. They were still only in the half-light of the early hours of the new age; the light had not fully dawned on them. But truly, this was a new age when women, alongside men, were going to speak of God’s good news of death defeated, sin forgiven and Satan conquered because Christ was risen.
What would you think if it were you who found the tomb empty? How does this help you in sharing the message with those who don’t believe in the resurrection?
Merciful Lord, You bring us together in oneness. In Christ, regardless of who we are and whatever our standing life, we belong to each because we belong to You.