WHAT TO DO

  • Listen to your favorite worship song.
  • Read the Biblical Text and Thoughts
  • Sit in silence and Meditate on the words
  • Journal what you hear from the Holy Spirit
  • Read the prayer and add to it as the Holy Spirit Leads

BIBLICAL TEXT

John 20:1–30 (The Message)

1Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. 

2She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.” 

3Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. 

4They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. 

5Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. 

6Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, 

7and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. 

8Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. 

9No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. 

10The disciples then went back home. 

11But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb 

12and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. 

13They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?” “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” 

14After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him. 

15Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?” She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.” 

16Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!” 

17Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’ ” 

18Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her. 

19Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” 

20Then he showed them his hands and side. The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. 

21Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.” 

22Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. 

23“If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?” 

24But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 

25The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.” 

26Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” 

27Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.” 

28Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” 

29Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” 

30Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book.

THOUGHTS

The text tells us that Peter and the other disciple Jesus loved (John) were neck-in-neck running to the tomb.  Mary followed from behind.  John got there first and did not go in.  Of course Peter who arrived second rushed into the tomb.  John entered the tomb.  John immediately believed. Mary remained outside and wept.  How often do we not believe and are paralyzed when we are uncertain about events, things, and what Jesus asks of us.

What we know from this text is that Mary encountered the risen person of Jesus and believed.  While we do not have the risen person of Jesus in front of us, we do have the Holy Spirit to encourage and lead us – after all Jesus promised the Comforter would come and guide us.

During this Easter season leading to Pentacost, eagerly look for the Holy Spirit, follow the lead revealed by Jesus.  Pray, seek to be obedient, and fulfill the Great Commission.  Let us run like Mary telling the news to the world about Jesus.

After all – Jesus is alive – Christ the Lord is Risen Today.  That is Good News for the current reality we live in today.

PRAYER

Our Father – today we celebrate your Son being raised from the dead – hallelujah Jesus.  The sting of death has forever been removed.  Each of us that know Jesus as not only the person of scripture but our Redeemer celebrate today.  While we celebrate, we also mourn for those who do not know Jesus.  Help us to be like Mary – who went telling the news to the disciples (v18).  The world we live today is filled with angst, hoarding, fear, sickness, death, and the list goes on and on.  We live in HOPE.  We do not need to be anxious, we only need our daily bread, we have nothing to fear, we can be healed in this life or the next of sickness, and death – oh where oh where is your sting.  Holy Spirit fill us with the fruit of the Spirit!  AMEN and AMEN.

VIDEO

Christ the Lord is Risen Today – He is not Dead