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Monday, May 18, 2015

Mourning into Dancing! John 20

Our last session ended with a lot of "D" words and I don't doubt you were wondering:  What will happen NEXT?

Well -- Read John Chapter 20 and rejoice with me!  But first...the sad part.

Things are looking pretty bleak for the followers of Jesus.  They have witnessed Him dying on the cross.

They have followed his body to the tomb and left Him there - shrouded in burial cloth.

Mary Magdeline has come to the tomb on the first day of the week.  It is so early, she is shrouded in darkness.  In a sense, darkness has overcome her.

She is perplexed and frightened to find the stone rolled away from an empty tomb. - Where have they taken her Christ???  She runs to get Simon Peter.

It is very significant that God allowed a woman to be the first to see the empty tomb.  Again, God "shakes up" the order of things.  A woman, the very lowliest of people in the Bible time,  is allowed to make a discovery which would rock the ages!

BUT !  Mary does not understand.  She stands at the tomb crying.

I can relate.  I sometimes forget I serve a triumphant King.  I get discouraged.  I look only at the physical signs around me and forget the awesome "out of this world" gift I hold right here in my hands!

Jesus understands my confusion.  Jesus understands Mary's confusion.  He both of us.

Check it out in John Chapter 20:11-16:

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 

Oh, I can only imagine her joy!  She runs to tell the others:

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. -- John 20:18

Jesus then appears to His disciples.  Mourning is turned into dancing as they realize their Savior has risen!  The words He speaks resonate into their lives.  I can only imagine that He speaks these same words to me today:  

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 
                                                                          -- John 20:21

Oh, thank you, Jesus, for giving me peace, just as you gave it to the disciples.

-- May I never forget the second part of your statement:  You are sending ME.  

John concludes his chapter with a key verse.  I will also close with it.  Thank you for hanging in as we studied the Book of John!  My prayer is that you, truly have experienced verse 31 and have turned mourning into dancing because YOU have LIFE in His name! 

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31But these are written that you may believeb that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.  -- John 20:30-31

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