ODJ: The First Day—Again

March 26, 2017 

READ: John 20:1-10 

Early on the first day of the week (v.1 niv).

Imagine you’re a Jewish child, nourished from a young age by the words of the Torah. You can recite the Torah’s opening lines describing how, just before the dawn of God’s magnificent acts of creation, darkness covered the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters (Genesis 1:2). Those mysterious words signalled that something stunning was about to happen. God was doing something new. You’d hear the story of that first day of creation, the inauguration of God’s creation week when He said, “Let there be light”—and light flooded the earth (v.3). Adam and Eve in the garden, beginning the great adventure of human life. What stunning possibilities, what hope! You would know well this story—the story of how God’s new world began to flourish.

And now imagine yourself, years later, stooped and greyed, carrying the weight of many decades on your shoulders, the weight of so many losses and disappointments. Your eyes, once young and bright, are now milky and dim. You’ve forgotten the old fire, the old hope.

Then someone begins to read from John’s gospel. You hear again about another garden, where friends buried Jesus after His violent crucifixion (John 19:41-42). Then you hear familiar words: Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark . . . Goose bumps surface—even on such wrinkled, leathery skin. You feel you’ve returned to childhood wonder.

Is something magnificent about to happen again? Is God on the move? Is God’s kingdom expanding? You lean in. You’re not missing this story. You’ll soon hear of Jesus’ resurrection. Energy surges again. The old hope and the old stories erupt with vigour and fresh possibility. God is doing something new, again.

—Winn Collier

365-day plan: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Read Genesis 1 in tandem with John 20. What similarities do you find? How is John telling us the story of Jesus in a way that returns us to God’s creation of the world? 
How have you been tempted to give up hope that God will do something new in your world? How does Jesus’ resurrection infuse you with fresh hope?