What God is Saying:

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Easter Devotion: A Race to the Tomb (Day 10)


Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.
Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.
Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.
Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)  John 20:1-9

Did you know that the forty days of Lent do not include the Sundays? Can you guess why that is? Lent is a time of thinking about Jesus' death. Every Sunday of the year, however, is a celebration of Jesus' resurrection. For that reason, we will spend the Sundays during Lent looking at one of the resurrection stories.

Questions:
- Why did Mary Magdalene go to the tomb early that Sunday morning? (the Sabbath time of rest was over and she had gone to the tomb to anoint Jesus' dead body with spices)
- What did Mary think when she saw that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb?
- Who were the two disciples that raced to the tomb? (the disciple "Jesus loved" is John, the author of the book of John)
- Who got there first?
- Why do you think John did not go in at first?
- What did Simon Peter discover inside the tomb?
- Do you think that if Jesus' body was taken by either an enemy or a friend, they would have taken off the strips of linen that wrapped His body and neatly folded the cloth that had been around Jesus' head?
- What do you think it means that John "saw and believed"?

Thoughts
The fact that John and Peter raced to the tomb, shows that in their hearts they still held out hope that all was not lost after Jesus' death, even though they did not understand His statements that He would rise from the dead. Peter, ever the leader and eager follower, pushes past John and enters the tomb. What do you think his thoughts were after he had, just two days before, denied ever knowing Jesus? Graciously, God allows Peter and John to see, with their own eyes, the empty, neat and orderly tomb. They believe even when they do not understand. We can learn a lesson from Peter and John. We may not always understand how or why God is doing something, but we can believe Him, have faith in Him and eagerly await the day when our faith will become sight.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, thank you for rising from the dead! Thank you for giving us the Bible so that we can know this truth. Help us to have faith in You, even when we don't understand everything that is happening around us or to us. We celebrate your resurrection this day and every day!

Song: Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!


Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! 
Dying once, our souls to save, Alleluia! 
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia! 


Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!


Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! 
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! 
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! 
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Here is a link for the music: Christ the Lord is risen today



For Further Study: 
There are many children throughout the world who are very bold in their faith in Christ, especially in nations where it is hard to be a Christian. Sharing their stories can encourage a bolder faith in your children. A wonderful resource is Kids of Courage



* Some of the content of this blog is based on the book Family Celebrations at Easter by Ann Hibbard.*

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