John 20:2. Mary goes to the tomb and sees that it’s empty. She runs to Simon Peter and the other disciple John, the disciple who Jesus loved, the disciple who never used his own name, and said “They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have laid Him.” It’s incredible to realize that Mary’s first response to the resurrection wasn’t hope. She thought some kind of tragedy had occurred. It wasn’t joy. She thought either the Romans had come and they’ve taken Him out of the tomb and just like they’d made fun of Him before He died, when they mocked Him with that king’s game, they’re still mocking His dead body. Or she thought, something common that often happened, grave robbers had come in and taken His body.
The shocking truth is our first response to the resurrection is usually not hope. It’s disbelief at what’s going on. More often it is confusion or doubt or fear. The first time you hear the truth of the resurrection or the first time you try apply the truth of the resurrection to a specific area of your life you haven’t applied it to before, the first response isn’t always hope. It’s more often confusion – how does this fit in? Doubt – I don’t know if this power will work in my life. Or even fear – I’m afraid of what this might do in my life.
For Mary it was confusion. For Thomas it was doubt. For the disciples in the Upper Room, it was fear. That’s the response that we have to work through to really experience the joy of the resurrection.
How do you see the truth of the resurrection in your life. How do you see it in a real way? I’m not talking about how to convince somebody who’s not a believer that the resurrection really happened or that Jesus really is alive. I’m talking about how do you and I as believers see the truth of the resurrection as a part of my family life, and my job, and my personal life, and my thought life, and all the areas of my life?
Here’s the truth: Jesus Christ is risen. And just as the whole of the New Testament declares, His resurrection gives life to the lifeless and hope to the hopeless. Maybe it’s time for all of us to start to see the resurrected Jesus in every part of our life. When I’m depressed, when I’m worried, when I’m feeling defeated.
Your support of Missions Door is making a huge difference. We are grateful beyond words for your prayers and for your support. May God richly bless you and your family this Resurrection Sunday.
Minister at Large