Sunday, April 05, 2015

April 5th Reflection by Bill Lynch

John 20:1-18
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 towards 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 round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ 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.

Mary only saw the stone rolled away! What did she assume? She ran to tell the disciples. It wasn't until later that Mary looked into the tomb to see. Was this her first time looking into the tomb? Did she take a peek inside before running to the disciples? Or did Mary just assume that since the stone was rolled away that Jesus was gone?

I don't know and can't tell from reading this passage. But I can relate to Mary and what she felt and did. Many times in my life the stone has been in the way of my seeing and understanding the call and message that Jesus has for my life. Many times I see the stone rolled away and forget about my encounter with Jesus and run to tell someone else what I assume to be the message.

But then also many times I go back to that tomb. I go back to the place that the stone is rolled away. I go back to death and the dead of my spirit and find Jesus. How did the stone roll away? It was Jesus. It was Jesus that rolled the stone of death from my heart to expose himself in life to me and to call me and stop me and make me lay down. Jesus stops me and shows himself to me and fills me with his Spirit that I may rise to new life in him. That I may hear his call. That I may respond to what God has chosen for me to do in this new life... in this resurrected life... in this life only made possible because Jesus chose to love me and to love all people enough to roll that stone of death away and expose all creation to a new and resurrected life.

Hear the voice of the Teacher call out your name to live the resurrected life in and through him.

Christ has risen!
He has risen indeed!

IN CHRIST ALONE by Adie Camp & Geoff Moore

Lord as I see the stone rolled away. As I witness the empty tomb. As I remember the curtain torn in two. As I see you exposed in life to all the world... may I proclaim your glory... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen