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Sunday, April 24, 2011

4/25/11 John 20:9-16 Not Recognizing our Answer

9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They 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.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He 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.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

(Alexander Ivanov 1834-36)

Thoughts: The concept of the resurrection was foreign to the disciples.  They tried to return to life as it always had been - back to the same old place- but they could not.  When we encounter the living Christ, we cannot expect to go back to the same old way of life with the same old habits. 
Mary did not know but her prayers had been answered.  Jesus was found- she only had to open her eyes to see that Christ was not lost or stolen at all.  In fact, He was very present to her.  Both Jesus and the angels asked the same question, "Woman, why are you crying?"  Many times we cry as if God is not in control.  The resurrection means that the worst life can do to us will not triumph over God and His purposes.  Sometimes we still weep or complain or worry when the answer is right before us.

Prayer:  Help me to trust in you, Lord.  Help me to change my life in ways that please you.

John Calvin Abridged: There were probably other women there with Mary, though they were not mentioned.  The disciples saw the empty tomb and were consoled and joyful.  The women [saw the empty tomb and] tormented themselves with idle and useless weeping.  Such weeping was fueled by this-world thinking and superstition that kept them near the tomb.  In Mary we see an example of mistakes into which the human mind frequently falls.  Though Christ presented himself to her, her mind blinded her from seeing the true Jesus.

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