Imagine how saddened and distraught Mary Magdalene felt as she arrived a the tomb of Jesus, only to find that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled away. The tomb was empty. Where was Jesus? She wondered, "Where was his body? What had been done with it?"
As she stood by the tomb weeping, she looked inside and saw two angels where the body of Jesus had been laid. They said to her, "Woman why are you weeping?"
She replied, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
And then she turned and saw Jesus, whom she did not recognize right away. He said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"
At first she thought He was the gardener and she replied “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!"
Then she recognized Him saying, "Rabboni!"
Can you imagine how much she wanted to hold onto Him, hugging Him and just remain in His presence?
It had been three days since His death on the cross and His Mother, Mary, Mary Magdalene and the disciples had been mourning the loss of Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “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.’”
And so Mary Magdalene went to the disciples and told of her conversation with Jesus.
That same evening...Jesus came and stood amidst His disciples. He told them, “Peace be with you.” He showed them His hands and His side. And the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
Jesus repeated to the disciples, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
However, Thomas was not present when Jesus stood amongst the disciples and breathed the Holy Spirit into them.
And Thomas doubted whether Jesus had actually come to them.
Thomas stated that he would have to see Jesus and the holes in His hands and side in order to believe it was actually Him.
Then, after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
Imagine Thomas as he realized that yes, this was Jesus! And Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have
believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20: 11-30)
Jesus loves us. His death on the cross and His resurrection three days later was because of His love for all people.
My prayer for today is that we are blessed because we believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. We don't have to see to believe, but know in our heart that He is the Son of God, born to live, die and live again for the redemption of our sinfulness on this earth. As He said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Let us all be His disciples as we carry His great message of love and forgiveness of sins into the world, just as He called His Disciples to do when He said, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And.. He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit..."
Blessings to all in Jesus' Precious Name, Amen.