June 9. John 20:1-23
GRACE LESSONS: I can’t begin to imagine the grief and horror Peter must have felt during and after the crucifixion of Christ. Added to the obvious misery of Jesus’ death, was Peter’s three denials. And then came the resurrection and our Peter was racing toward that tomb. Could it be true? Had Jesus actually risen from the dead? Did Peter shake his head and think back to his little drawn sword and how he tried to stop the greatest miracle and gift the world has ever known? Isn’t it good that God in His grace stopped Peter from starting a mini-rebellion there in the garden so He could die for our sins? Oh how thankful I am that He is able to stop foolish me, too, if I decide I ought to interfere with His plans. In fact, that’s one reason I love praying “Not my will but Thine, Lord.” I really, really don’t want to be in charge. He knows the plans He has for us. We can trust Him.
OUR PASSAGE: As this passage progresses we see hope flicker and then burst into glorious flame, don’t we? First the puzzle of the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then the incredulous run and first look into the empty tomb where the grave clothes still lay there declaring that there was a dead body there, and then, encounters with the living Christ. If the crucifixion was all horror and grief, the realization that Jesus conquered death was all astonishment and … and … the dawning of incredible and unquenchable JOY! Oh what a pivotal moment in history this is!! The Light of the World conquered the darkness, friends. Rejoice!
My verse: John 20:7 “while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded and laying apart from the other wrappings.”
My response: It always fascinates me that the head-cloth was neatly folded. Not likely that robbers of a dead body would unwrap it after 3 days of deterioration and then fold the head cloth! Somehow those empty grave wrappings and that neatly folded head-cloth say to me all over again. “It is finished.” Completed. Let’s move on toward an eternity where sinful humans, forgiven, rescued and redeemed can gather. What a glorious day that will be when we can bow before that throne and thank Him for what He accomplished that day in history. Oh, glorious day!