Yup, still in John. Now I’ve made it to chapter 20 which is where I’ll be coming from today. There’s so much in there I can’t ignore but must share. Sometimes I think we look at the resurrection of Jesus and play it off. We pay much attention to Jesus’ life, which is extremely important. From His life He shows us exactly what God wants, what He’s been talking about from the beginning. The perfect example is found in Jesus. However, if He didn’t rise from the dead, our hope would be in a good man instead of a Savior. He’s done what no one else could ever do in His life. He’s also done what is necessary to reconcile us to God.
The account of His resurrection shows me something, another truth about what Jesus came to do. Little phrases Jesus says during His first few appearances to His disciples and Mary Magdalene teaches and continues the work He came to do. Check it out.
Mary shows up at the tomb while it’s still dark, early in the morning. Can’t see very well, but does notice that Jesus’ body is gone. She rushes and tells the disciples and John and Peter run out to see for themselves. John gets there and stoops in to look. One of the commentators I’ve read mentions something that gives a little more of a real scenario to me. “Are you going to go down into a tomb while it’s still dark?” I’m thinking, not me. Let’s face it, tombs and death aren’t really things we like to hang around for long periods of time in the dark. It’s creepy. But aside from that, the disciples didn’t know if the supposed thieves were still around. Peter doesn’t seem to care though. He goes right in. John lets him. It’s more comfortable with two, so John goes in too and sees the cloths there and the face wrap folded nicely lying away from the rest of the grave clothes. I’ve got to tell you, that’s weird. And I think if Jesus’ body was stolen, the thieves wouldn’t be so nice and polite as to fold the cloth that covered His face. The disciples leave without saying a word of comfort to Mary as she arrives once again.
Mary, a devoted follower of Jesus, her Master’s body is missing. She just wants to keep the respect due her Leader. She looks in again and see two angels sitting in there and they ask her why she’s crying. She wants to know where Jesus’ body is. Jesus shows up, but through her tears and sorrow, and because it’s dark and hard to see, she doesn’t recognize Him. He asks her the same, and also a question He used earlier before He went to trial: “Who are you looking for?” “Just tell me where He is so I can go and get Him! Let Him rest in peace! I don’t want any trouble.” Jesus calls her name. She knows.
Now, the coolest thing about this is what Jesus says from then on. He says He is going to ascend to His Father and your Father, His God and your God. That’s awesome! Do you see what happened? The way has been made to the Father! For the first time after His resurrection, Jesus is looking on a believer who’s sin has been completely atoned for! Jesus’ Father is our Father! Jesus’ God is our God! The way has been made! Jesus just can’t contain Himself! He has to say it! Some of His first recorded words after the work has been completed. “My Father and your Father, my God and your God.”
A short while later Jesus shows up to His disciples in a room that was locked. His first words are also very cool. “Peace be unto you!” Wow. Again, so thrilled that the way has been made, He has come, grace is available, He declares PEACE!!! Jesus shows them who He is and that it’s really Him, then He says is again. Then He sends them out with that message. “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Basically, peace is available to all who will believe, I’ve declared it, and now you will declare it! The way has been made! He has come to give us peace between the God of Justice, peace from the wrath we deserve, peace from the enemy we’ve created by our sin!
I’ve been reading another book alongside my studies to challenge my faith. It’s called Radical by David Platt. Normally I’m not into books that spend time bashing the church because the church is the body of Christ. Us beating it up isn’t going to help it get in shape. We are responsible for using God’s Word for correcting and training in righteousness. Sometimes correction hurts, but if you come and punch my bride, think of the trouble you have brought on yourself! Now think about doing that to Jesus’ bride! This one doesn’t do it as some others that I’ve unfortunately read. David does a good job exposing truth and the difference between the principles of God and our failed attempts in explaining them to make them our own. I do agree that some of the basic principles found in God’s Word have been dumbed down and reduced to something we want to digest instead of how God intended us to be different from the world.
In the second chapter of his book there’s a statement that make things more plain to me about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It goes something like this: we can’t get to God because He already came to us. Deep down, I think that’s so very true of myself. I’ve been spending time trying to get to God when He is already here! He is living in me! Why am I still working to earn His grace? Why is my work not done just because of my love for Him and the peace that He’s given? Do I even understand and realize what Jesus came to do? Do I value the peace as much as He does as shown in the account of His resurrection?
This Peace is great and worthy of attention! It is not to be taken for granted but built upon. If peace has been established with anyone, abandon all else to live in The Peace, Jesus!