May 17, 2014
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Because I live, you will live also.”
John 14: 19
Grant us Your light, O Lord, that the darkness in our hearts being wholly passed away we may come at last to the light which is Christ. For Christ is the morning star, who when the night of this world has passed, brings to His saints the promised light of life, and opens to them eternal day. Amen.”
A Treasury of Prayer
Today’s Study Text:
“As she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they said to her, ‘Woman; why are you sobbing?’ She told them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
John 20: 11-13
“He is Risen” Part 3
“Come and See – There’s No Reason To Despair”
“Let us never despair while we have Christ as our Leader!”
Has there been a time in my life when I felt a sense of despair sweep over my life because of something tragic which had happened?
Have I “come and seen” the way Christ can lift the burden of despair that I am carrying?
“It is impossible for (us) to despair when we remember that our Helper is omnipotent.”
“I saw angels this morning, in the garden.
Angels, asking me why I was crying –
Do angels understand sadness?
Do angels know what it’s like to lose
Someone you’ve loved,
To not know where they’ve gone?
…I saw angels this morning – angels –
Now I know something of their glory and joy.”
Ruth Burgess and
Has anyone ever asked you, “Was the waiting worth it?” This question can apply to a variety of events in your life and mine. But I suspect, had this question been posed to Mary Magdalene on Sunday night after Christ’s Resurrection, there would have been an emphatic response, “Absolutely, yes!”
You see, the Apostle John as he details the events which transpired on the Sunday morning after Jesus was crucified, makes it clear that he and Peter had gone back to their “lodging places.” But not Mary Magdalene. She faithfully stayed by that empty tomb. This was where her dearest Friend on earth had last been seen. This was the place where Jesus’ body had been laid. If I know anything about Mary Magdalene, she was going to stay at the tomb until she found out where Jesus was. Talk about determined!
I really appreciate the insight provided by Professor Clayton J. Schmit who helps us focus on two words: Come and See. As he points out, “Mary Magdalene came and saw that things were not as expected. The resurrection upsets all expectations, and the only way to (comprehend) it is to come and see that things are different. Things are always different than expected with Jesus.” These particular words helped me reflect on multiple times in Jesus’ life when His entrance into the lives of individuals on this earth turned the world, as it was known, upside down. Here are just a few examples:
Example #1: “In that vicinity there were shepherds living out under the open sky in the field, watching in shifts over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them…But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid: for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all people…And this will be a sign for you by which you will recognize Him: you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manager…and the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.”
Luke 1: 2-12, 20
Example #2: “Jesus said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ And they answered Him, ‘Rabbi – where are you staying?’ Jesus said to them, ‘come and see.’ So they remained with Him that day. It was then about the tenth hour in the afternoon. One of the two who heard what (John the Baptist) said and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first sought out and found his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’…The next day Jesus desired to go into Galilee; and He found Philip and said to him, ‘Join Me and follow Me’…Philip sought and found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have discovered the One Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote about – Jesus from Nazareth’…Nathanael answered him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip replied, ‘Come and see!’”
John 1: 38-46
Example #3: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11: 28, 29
Come and see – whether it was angels inviting Shepherds to come and see the manger bed of a small baby; whether it was a brother or friend giving an invitation to come and see the Messiah; or whether it was Jesus asking you and me to come and see how our journey with Him will lighten our cares and remove any feelings of despair, the message down through time reverberates to this very day, “Come and see.”
In the words of Bruce D. Prewer:
“If your ears are for hearing
then listen carefully.
If your eyes are for seeing,
then look upon Me…
Follow Me along the road
and you will find yourself.
Know me on the journey
and you will know yourself.”
If today you came to the Garden with a feeling of despair filling your heart, I invite you to “Come and See.” The tomb is not only empty, but your Father has sent messengers to encourage your heart. Who knows? It may be an angel sent to tell you to “Come and See” that your Lord is risen. Things are different now. No tomb in your life…those dead places that impede your progress…can stop you now for Jesus has risen. Don’t expect the worst. Look for the best because what you expect to happen may well be something beyond anything you could ever conceive. Don’t forget, the risen Savior has changed all our expectations. With Jesus on your journey, it’s a new world – Praise God!
“Might it be that things could be different with Jesus’ followers now? How wonderful it would be if people said, ‘These followers of Jesus are not like other people, come and see how they love the world?” - Clayton J. Schmit
“Jesus said, ‘At this moment the world is in crisis…and I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to myself.’”
John 12: 30-32
The Message Bible
“Nature is mute – no zephyrs stir
The dawn of that first Easter morn,
When weeping, trembling, sad, forlorn,
She stands before the Sepulcher.
But lo! Displaced has been the stone,
It has been rolled away by night;
She, panic-stricken at the sight,
Gazes bewildered and alone.
The One on earth she cleaved to most,
Whose pallid face she hoped to see
And bathe in tears – had suddenly
To her adoring eyes been lost.
‘My loving Lord they’ve taken away,’
In bitterness of soul she said,
‘I know not where He has been laid!’
And now it is break of day.
Ah! Bitter is the thought to her,
Standing outside the vacant tomb,
As darkening shades have ceased to loom:
That the well-guarded sepulcher.
With hands profane had rifled been.
No vigil now but of despair.
The Christ! – The Christ! He is not there;
She gazes wildly on the scene.
Meanwhile, angels bright appear,
Where the loved Lord was lately laid,
‘Woman! Why weepest thou?’ he said
‘Cease thy despair and dry thy tears.’”
J. R. MacDuff
(To be continued tomorrow)
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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