1-2 Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.” 3-10Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.
Jesus, You followed Your Father’s will all the way to the tomb…and then left in a glorious new body, more alive than ever! Is that my hope? Help me to follow Your will all the way to the grave trusting that I will also be changed and actually be more alive than ever. Make me dead to sin and alive to Your Holy Spirit. Let me leave the tomb of this world behind.
11-13But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”
13-14“They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.
15Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”
16Jesus said, “Mary.”
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”
17Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.'”
18Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.
Alive! You are alive! Nothing else really matters. You have conquered death and sin and everything. The Son of God is alive. No way will You abandon me. I am not praying to a thought, a hope, or an image. You are alive! Your being alive rocked Mary’s world – make it rock mine too. Just totally shake me to my timbers. Open my eyes and my heart to how awesome this really is and what it really means. You are alive! Be alive in me in every way, every minute of every day. Alive!
19-20Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.
“Peace to you.” Lord, You are alive and the only source for peace in my life. Everything else is crazy. Everything had to be crazy in the disciples’ lives too. You came, and the first thing You said was “take it easy. It’s going to be OK.” Peace. Lord help me find peace in You. Help me rest in You and only You. Anything else I try to find peace in will fail. thank-you for being there all the time, every time. Be my peace.
20-21The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”
Jesus, where, or to whom, are You sending me? I know the answer to that. You are sending me to my family…my own wife and children. they are in need, but they need You, not me. I can serve them, but I cannot preach to them, they reject me. I can serve them, but You alone can really help them. I know You are sending me to them, but I don’t know what to do. Guide me and humble me and help me love them as You do.
22-23Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”
Jesus, this is amazing. I either forgive others, or I (not them) have to figure out what to do with their sins. Their sins against me become my problem, no theirs. And why would I not forgive others, if I want to be forgiven. We both know I will probably never meet someone who is a worse sinner than me. Lord, help me to completely forgive, from the depths of my soul, everyone who hurts me, today and every day.
24-25But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.”
But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”
Jesus, I can relate to Thomas so well. I struggle to believe that You are going to make things in my life turn out for Your glory. I struggle believe. Why? I want to see Your power in my life. Perhaps that is why You allow me and my family to struggle as we are. You are letting the situation get worse so You glory is easily seen. I don’t know Lord, but I know I need You to help my unbelief. Help me Jesus. Help.
26Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.”
27Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”
28Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”
29Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”
Jesus, I want to see You act boldly in my life. I want miracles to change what is happening to my family. But I am being like Thomas. You want me to have faith in You, when I can’t see the results. You want me to have faith even when I don’t see You hand guiding us. Oh Lord, have pity on me and give me faith. Change me Lord. Give me faith.
30-31Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.