Today’s Scripture: John 20
By: Dr. Joshua Stowe
Darkness blanketed the predawn morning. And darkness blanketed the hearts and minds of those who followed Jesus. As Mary made her way to the tomb, she noticed the stone was removed from the entrance. With grief weighing on her shoulders, she stooped to look inside. The tomb was empty. Confused and concerned, she ran to the disciples. She said, “Jesus is gone. They have taken him. And I don’t know where he is.” When Peter and John got to the tomb, they realized that everything was as Mary had said. Well, mostly.
Jesus wasn’t the victim of some malicious scheme. His grave hadn’t been robbed. And his body wasn’t relocated by the ruling authorities out of further spite. Jesus had been resurrected from the dead by the power and love of God. Jesus was no mere victim of historical circumstances. God was doing something, accomplishing something. Consider these words from Isaiah, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (53:5). In suffering, Jesus bore our pain. In death, Jesus took-on and defeated the power of sin and the cycles of human brokenness. And in resurrection, Jesus declared that God had overcome it all.
Life and death can be profoundly unsettling. Yet, just when we think the lights of hope and possibility have been extinguished, God does something utterly unexpected. Jesus shows-up and reminds us that God’s love and power are capable of the unimaginable. So whatever circumstance you’re in, let me encourage you to hold-on to Jesus—the One who overcame it all, the One who rose from the dead, the One who lives forevermore, the One who speaks peace to us in our times of need.