Friday 21st April 2017
John 20: 1-18 (NKJV)
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. 11But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” 18Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
The resurrection of Jesus is the greatest event in human history and marks the most profound demonstration of God’s power. In commemorating the resurrection on Easter day we rejoice that we serve a living God unlike man-made religions whose founders are dead and buried. We also live in hope of resurrection to eternal life at the end of time.
In St John’s account of the resurrection, Mary Magdalene, from whom Jesus cast out evil spirits (Luke 8: 2-3) stands out. She, in appreciation, dedicated her lifetime to serving the Lord. At the sepulchre when others, including two of Jesus’ disciples, gave up hope of seeing the body of Christ, she tarried. She was rewarded by being the first to see the risen Lord and to announce it to the world: “I have seen the Lord, and He has spoken to me” (v. 18). Have you experienced the risen Lord and the power of His resurrection and are you witnessing His resurrection to all around you? If you are, be sure of His promise: “… that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15: 58).
Prayer: Lord, help me to always appreciate your grace upon my life brought about by your death and resurrection.