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, March 2, 2013

Easter Devotion: Were you There? (Day 16)



Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?" 
"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him."
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."
Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.  John 20:10-18


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 each of the next four Sundays during Lent looking at one of the resurrection stories.


Questions:
- Who was Mary Magdalene? (Jesus had cast seven demons from her - Luke 8:2, she was one of his followers and was at the cross - Mark 15:40; she saw him buried - Mark 15:47)
- Why do you think Mary stayed at the tomb after Peter and John had left?
- What do you think she felt when she realized it was Jesus who was talking to her?
- What can we learn from Mary's example?

Thoughts
We can only imagine what Mary's thoughts were that Sunday morning upon seeing her Lord alive! She had watched Him be killed and seen His dead body placed in the tomb. While all but one of the disciples (John) didn't dare show their faces at the cross out of fear, she stayed there, supporting Jesus' mother Mary, and showing her love and dedication for Jesus up to the bitter end. And for Mary, even His death was not the end of her devotion. She risked her life to return to the tomb that Sunday morning. Jesus rewarded her faithfulness by choosing Mary, a woman who had been possessed by seven demons (we can only imagine the horror she experienced), to be the first one to see Him after He rose. Oh praise You sweet Jesus! You reveal Yourself to children and women...the ones who society so often abuses and persecutes. What a wonderful Savior we serve!

Prayer
Sweet Jesus...how precious You are! We can't wait to see you face to face the way Mary did in the Garden. Some day, we know, You will return and take us to live with You forever. Until that day, may we live our lives with all the devotion and love of Mary Magdalene. Thank You Jesus!

Song: Were You There?
(You can almost hear Mary singing this song because she was there for each of these events)

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Were you there when He rose up from the grave?

Here is a link to the song song



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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