Focal Passages: John 20: 15-23, 26-29
As Christians, we have been taught that God transforms our wretched, sinful nature into His image and likeness. We are familiar with 2 Corinthians 3:18, “We all, with unveiled faces, are reflecting the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.” But do we live like we believe it? Our lesson this week challenges us to live in the power of the resurrection of Christ! We will see from these post-resurrection accounts that people can go from a place of grief to joyful testimony. We can leave the place of fear and enter into bold mission for Christ. We can leave our doubts behind and live in confident faith! These are all examples of the transformational power of Jesus. In John 20:15-18 Mary Magdalene is expressing her intense grief for Jesus, then turns around and sees Jesus standing there! Mary Magdalene believes Jesus is dead and then is presented with the living truth that Jesus is alive! She is given the immense privilege to go tell His disciples this news.
How difficult it must have been for Mary Magdalene to get her mind around the fact that Jesus had just spoken to her and yet she demonstrated immediate obedience. In John 20:19-23, we find the disciples hiding in fear. They had witnessed what could happen to them and it was terrifying. They had “the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews.”
Jesus demonstrated His power over the things they feared by showing them that locked doors could not keep Him from coming to stand among them. We witness Jesus transforming the belief of one believer, Thomas, in John 20:26-29. Once again, the disciples are behind locked doors and Jesus “came and stood among them.” Jesus offers the disciples peace and then proof. He says, “Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.”
“Those who believe without seeing are blessed” (John 20:29). We each have the same opportunity to respond to Jesus and be transformed like Thomas by saying, “My Lord and my God!”