April 1, 2018
READ: John 20:1-18
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message (v.18).
On the Sunday morning following Jesus’ crucifixion, a woman stood outside of His tomb weeping bitterly. Her dearest friend and mentor had just endured a grisly death. Now it appeared someone had broken into His grave and stolen His battered body (John 20:11-15).
As she wept, a fully alive Jesus appeared to her. Her swollen, reddened eyes initially mistook him for the gardener, until He called to her by name—“Mary!” (v.16). Instantly, sheer joy swept over her.
Until Easter morning, Mary and the rest of Jesus’ closest followers had remained puzzled. They had yet to “[understand] the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead” (v.9). It took them even more time to grasp all that His resurrection meant.
Author N. T. Wright notes, “The early Christians looked back with joy to that great event.” He goes on to write that as the enormous implications of this most surprising event began sinking in, they also “looked forward eagerly to an event yet tocome in which what began at Easter would be completed”.
The first Christians would soon realise that Easter morning shouted the start of new creation! The Creator-God, who made the world and saw His image-bearers turn against Him, had begun to rescue and renew all things. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead points our attention forward to the end of the story when He will return to this earth and complete what God began the morning He raised His Son from the grave (see Acts 3:21).
Christ coming out of the tomb was the first act of so much more healing and life to arrive in our broken world, waiting to break into every corner of life. And when it happens—even in the smallest of ways—there’s great joy!
365-day plan: 1 Samuel 25:1-42
Read Revelation 21:4 and consider the full restoration Jesus will bring when He returns.
How are you experiencing the joy of resurrection in your life today? What is God doing in your life to reveal Jesus’ healing, restoring ways?