Re:Verse Blog – 1/30/22

Re:Verse passage – John 20:19-23 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through John 20:19-23 in our Winter Re:Verse Series: “The Beauty of Restoration” The Final Days of Jesus in the Gospel of John.

His Voice

Re:Verse passage – John 20:1-18 (day seven)  

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” vs 16a

Mary didn’t initially recognize that it was Jesus who was talking to her. Perhaps she was still in shock, stricken by grief. How could it have been Jesus? She was there at the cross. She watched Him die. But when He said her name, it was unmistakable. She knew His voice. She knew this was real.

To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:3-4

Do you know His voice? Have you heard it? When you hear the voice of the Lord calling out your name, it is unmistakable. He calls each of us by name to trust Him as our Savior. Yet, it doesn’t stop at salvation. You will often hear it when you are running too fast in the wrong direction. You will hear it when you need encouragement. You will hear it when He is calling you to a special task. Maybe even now you will hear him calling out your name. When you hear it, you will know His Voice. When you hear it, you will know this is real. You will know, because you are His.

A Story to Tell

Re:Verse passage – John 20:1-18 (day six)

“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” John 20:17

We are not sure what to make of this. Is Jesus alluding to some mystery about his glorified body? I believe it is far simpler than that. It might have sounded something like this,

“Mary, you need to let me go; I still have work to do, and so do you. Now go tell my disciples…”

Could it be that is what Jesus intends for us to understand? That we can’t stay in the garden holding onto him. That we have a story to tell.

“Now, go and tell…”

People

Re:Verse passage – John 20:1-18 (day five)  One of beautiful things about the scriptures is that they portray people as ”normal” people. Even the heroes. They say and do things just like us. They fail. They argue. They miss the point. They succeed. They are afraid. They have courage. They sin. They celebrate. They worship. Just like us. And what we read in our Re:Verse passage this week, is that the disciples and women followers of Jesus are extremely grief stricken. (Just like we would be) It’s further evidence that Jesus really died and was buried. Some saw it and talked about it. The others sensed it from the way people were speaking and acting. And they were filled with grief, shock, and fear.
We all process and discover events and truth differently. Peter sees the empty tomb and grave clothes and is still in a state of grief. John see the same thing and “believes”. Mary sees the same thing and is overcome with grief and confusion.
Yet, all of these people mentioned will come to the point of believing. The Lord will immediately begin to work and speak in ways to convince, convict, and encourage His followers.
How might He do that with us (His followers today)?  Oh Lord, please help us to believe with greater confidence and to follow You with greater clarity and courage!!  Show us!!  Speak to us!! Come near to us!!  Help your people!!

Company

Re:Verse passage – John 20:1-18 (day four)

When we look at Jesus’ life, we find that every moment was filled with intention. Nothing was haphazard. Always look for who is around at the turning points in Jesus’ life. When Jesus is born, the angels first bring the news to poor shepherds working in the pasture over night. These men were often looked down upon in society, yet the good news of Jesus’ birth was brought to them first. Give this some thought – why them?

Now, at the resurrection, at the most significant moment in human history – look who’s there. The resurrected Jesus first reveals himself to women. The first person to witness about the resurrected Savior was a woman. Women, too, were treated poorly in society. They weren’t allowed to participate in the synagogues, they didn’t have any social or economic power of their own. And yet, it is to them that Jesus reveals this good news. Why them?

Jesus keeps interesting company. The people around him aren’t who you’d expect. And now, we’re included in that wonderfully weird company that he keeps as well. Why us? Why does he draw near to us? In response, we can follow the example of the shepherd and the women – we can go and tell.

Possibilities

Re:Verse passage – John 20:1-18 (day three)

“Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping.”

The disciples of Jesus were going to believe in this miracle at the speed of their lifelong experience, which is to say, belief was slow in coming. All their lives, these men and women had seen only a limited number of possible outcomes for any given circumstance. It’s just the way things were. When you can see no possibility for resolution to suffering but a darker future, despair makes sense. In fact, to hope is foolhardy. And when evidence points to something other than that bleak future, you’ll dismiss the evidence. The resurrection reveals, though, that despair is only a habit of thought. God has opened up new possibilities for the human race. If the dead are raised, no other seemingly impossible thing is off the table, no matter what it is.

Where Jesus Is

Re:Verse passage – John 20:1-18 (day tw0)  So the disciples went away again to their own homes. But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping vs. 10-11a

It’s impossible to know what kind of inner turmoil and confusion these three must have been experiencing, but their reactions produced vastly different results. The disciples went home. They gathered together and waited for some direction as to how to move next.

Mary, however, stayed where she knew Jesus had been. She came to care for Jesus, and she wanted to carry out that last act of kindness. She wanted answers. She was rewarded, first by seeing the angels, and then by seeing and speaking to Jesus himself. It was her determination to find Jesus that allowed her to be the one to declare to the disciples:

Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” vs. 18a

We don’t know the motivation of John and Peter in their return home, but we can see how Mary was blessed by her perseverance. Go to where you know Jesus to be. Wait for him, call on him. He will be found.

 

Re:Verse Blog – 1/23/22

Re:Verse passage – John 20:1-18 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through John 20:1-18 in our Winter Re:Verse Series: “The Beauty of Restoration” The Final Days of Jesus in the Gospel of John.

In a Garden

Re:Verse passage – John 19:38-42 (day seven)

Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. vs 41

In a garden an Innocent Man was arrested. In a garden an Innocent Man was put to death. In a garden an Innocent Man was laid to rest.

For He was there when it all began, in another garden in another land. He watched as Satan spun a curse on man.

In a garden that curse was lifted. In a garden death was put to death. In a garden death was laid to rest.

For He was the Adam we were supposed to be. It was our sin that put Him on that tree. Yet, He bore it all to prepare a garden for me.

In His garden Eden will be restored. In His garden there will be no more death. In His garden we will all find rest.

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life. Revelation 22:1-2

Body

Re:Verse passage – John 19:38-42 (day six)

This is a remarkable little story of two men coming out of the shadows to honor a man they secretly admired. With much at stake, and not a lot of time before sundown, they tend to the broken body of Jesus. As much as possible they honored Jesus’ body with the sacred traditions that accompanied the dead.

It is in this moment that we most clearly see Jesus’ humanity; a broken body, wrapped, and placed in a rich man’s tomb.

Jesus’ brokenness (in his crucifixion) is not what made him human; he became broken in his body so we could become whole, complete, and incorruptible in ours.