Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Arose! He Arose! He Arose From the Dead!


Resurrection of Our Lord
John 20:1-18 (NRSV)

Seeing the risen Christ

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.


Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Don’t you just love Easter? It is a day of so much hope, promise, and victory it makes you feel like giggling…

I get so happy every year when our Lenten journey ends in the celebration of God’s victory. Jesus did die, but he did not stay dead, he was resurrected, just as he promised!

Mary went to the tomb weeping and left the tomb laughing! She went to the tomb full of despair and left the tomb full of hope! She went to the tomb depressed and went away overflowing with the joy of having seen the Lord!

I don’t know about you, but I, too, feel hope and joy when I think about the great victory Jesus wrought when he overcame sin, death, and the grave on Easter morning!

Like Mary, this is news that I cannot possibly keep to myself! Jesus told her, “Go to my brothers and tell them…

Wow! What an awesome charge! Jesus made Mary the first barer of the GOOD NEWS message. She was sent to proclaim, “Alleluia. Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

Mary did her job faithfully and because of her bold witness, we are yet proclaiming the mystery, “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again!”

Today, as we should, many of us will get dressed in our fanciest clothes, place hats upon our heads, and gloves on our hands and go to church to worship our awesome God! Truly, on this day of greatest victory, we should make our way into the house of prayer and offer God our very best worship, praise, and adoration in the company of our community of faith! Together we sing, "He Arose! He Arose! He arose from the dead!"

But, once we have done that, let us also make time to go to the highways and byways of our towns and communities and tell people who may not know--or believe--that God loves, God gave, and God saves!

Undoubtedly we all have family members or friends who will not go to church today. They do not yet acknowledge God’s great love for them revealed in Jesus Christ’s dying on the cross to save us from our sins and to gift us with eternal life. But, there is yet hope! Jesus loves them and died for them whether or not they yet believe!

I have a dear friend who recently passed away. For the majority of his life he was unable to believe the GOOD NEWS message. He did not believe that God loved him or could forgive him of his many, many sins. But, at the end of his life, when he was sick and frail, he turned to Jesus and reconciled his relationship with God. As he lay dying, all of the GOOD NEWS words that had been spoken by his friends and family rose up in his heart and he gave his life to Jesus! He left this world in peace, secure in the blessed assurance that he would spend eternity with a loving and compassionate God, who had forgiven him all of his sin!

My friends, never, ever, grow weary in well doing! Don’t give up on those who seem resistant to God’s love and your message of hope. Keep on gently and respectfully proclaiming the GOOD NEWS message! Keep on telling them, just as Mary did, “I have seen the Lord!”

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Who can you share the Resurrection story with today?

All Powerful God, thank you that you have forgiven all of my sin and restored my right relationship with God. Your victory over sin, death, and the grave is amazing! I can’t wait to go and tell somebody, “I have seen the Lord!” Show me who to share this GOOD NEWS with today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus" found at

Have a blessed Resurrection Day (Easter)! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Pastor Yolanda extends a very special welcome to all of our friends reading outside of the United States of America! We are honored that you are sharing with us today.

From Pastor Yolanda's blog

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