Originally published Sunday, 05 April 2015.
Just the other day I sat down in a dimly lit room full of silence and opened up the gospels. I was aware of the sound each worn, thin page made as my fingers opened up to where I knew I had to read.
I compared each story, sifting through the passion of each writer and then, as always, the word began to teach me fresh and new. It was as if I hadn’t studied those accounts hundreds of times before. They lit up colorfully right there in the quiet of my morning.
It was John’s testimony that made my soul shout in praise.
I love John. He stood under the cross. The disciple whom Jesus loved stood there and witnessed death become life for all.
Oh to be the eyes of John. My heart is so jealous for that moment.
I know it must have been excruciating to watch. I don’t envy the pain of that day. It’s the truth inside each tear – to watch death become life and sullied sin become clean. To feel the ground quake at the exhale of Jesus’ final breath. To know, firsthand, the power of truth. That is what I envy.
Even though John didn’t know what would happen next, I’m sure his soul felt mended to his Savior in a way only grief can bind us. And then Sunday came…
Three days after, Mary Magdalene ran to Peter and John. She told them the stone was rolled away and Peter and John went running to see with their own eyes. John outran Peter and when he approached the entrance of the tomb he stooped down and peered in. When Peter arrived He went inside and saw the linen cloths lying there.
“For as yet they did not know the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.”
Mary Magdalene just stood there weeping. Wide-eyed with a broken heart she stood strong in commitment to this Jesus whom she loved. And then the angels spoke to her and Jesus Himself appeared speaking these words which poured out far more grace than any of us deserve…
“Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'”
Notice in the above scripture I made sure to bold the word your. After His death on the cross and resurrection three days later, we, through Jesus, were adopted in to the family of the living God.
In chapter one of his book, John tells us this…
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
When Jesus says, “Hey, Mary, go tell them I’m going to not only see My Father but yours/theirs too, not only to My God but yours/theirs also…” That excited me in a way nothing else has before.
It makes the words on the pages more than just words. They are actions. He died on a cross, beat death, and awoke with fresh breath so that we can call Him Lord, and His Father our Father. He paid the price.
Friend, It never gets old for me. It continually becomes new. I don’t know how He does it, but He really does live inside those words. They repeatedly pierce my heart, soul, and mind. They teach, give hope, and birth new faith.
More than anything I want you to feel the same passion. I want you to be excited about a God who is our God because of His Son who paid for us all.
May you feel His presence today, and may joy overwhelm you. Be excited! You have a Father who loves you and calls you His own. You belong to Him!
Thank you, Jesus!
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