Focal Passage: John 20:1-18
Nothing establishes clarity as does the death of a loved
one. The realization that someone is truly gone allows us to truly see the real
worth of everything. Worries over jobs, houses and events are burned away
through the searing heat of that moment.
No longer are we confused over the balancing of things and
careers. No longer are the projects and the neighborhoods important. We see,
either for the first time or we revisit the reminder, the value and necessity
of our relationships.
This is exactly the situation in which Mary, the women with
her and the disciples found themselves.
The man they called “Rabbi” and “Lord” was dead.
The heady anxiety of the circumstances from the previous
three years had caused them spiritual blindness and deafness; they did not
comprehend what Jesus had tried to tell them. Preoccupation with the immediate
circumstances caused them to sacrifice an enduring awareness.
Yet now all they experienced was deep, crushing grief.
This grief stole their hope and blinded their understanding
of Christ’s words in John 10:17, “I am laying down My life so I may take it up
He was letting them know He was giving up His life, but He
would also take it back.
Yet pain, just as it does with all of us, often has the
ability to defeat even the most strongly held beliefs. Everyone is aware of the
solid, white line placed along the right-hand edge of the roadway.
One of its main purposes is to mark the furthest, safe edge
of the road. Yet another important responsibility of this particular marker is
a focus-point for drivers.
When driving on a two-lane undivided highway, this line
allows us to “see past” the glare of the headlights of oncoming traffic.
When we are approached on a rainy night by lights that are
almost painfully bright, we can focus on that solid, white line which allows us
to have a clear view of the roadway on the other side of the advancing lights.
It is no different with Jesus Christ! Hebrews 12:2 says it
best: “Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.” It is
Christ alone who conquered death once and for all.
It is Christ, the true “perfecter of our faith,” who can
provide us with the ultimate resolution to our grief! Grief is not an end of
God, through His abundant mercies, has provided His Son as a
focus-point on which we may continually gaze so we may achieve victory over all
things, including death!
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