I Have Seen the Lord

by Duane Maust
Easter Sunday
April 16, 2006
John 20: 1-23

This is early in the morning. This friend of Jesus is anxious to show her respect to Jesus. It was still dark. Nobody probably was sleeping well anyway. All of Jesus’ friends were upset.

In Mark it says that they wanted to anoint Jesus’ body. They were still in shock at what had happened those last days. These days were a big blur for Jesus’ friends. These friends were the brave ones to show face that day. The rest of his friends were too scared to be seen in public.

Some of his friends just finished having the Last Supper like we remembered on Thursday night. They saw Jesus get arrested and put on trial.

Then we walked the streets of Meridian on Good Friday. We saw how Jesus was suffering. It’s called Good Friday. What was good about that day?

But Jesus knew what he was doing. He chose to allow that to happen to him.

So here we are on Sunday. His friends are gathering at the tomb. I suppose it was still cool and wet with dew. The sun was just breaking in the east. The birds were just starting to make their morning calls. I have to have a real good reason to be out at that time of day.

I suppose their eyes were sore from crying the past couple of days. They probably still were not eating much of anything. Who was wanting to eat anything?

Mary Magdalene gets to the tomb and the stone is rolled away from the opening. What does that mean? She may have been to scared to do any checking herself.

Who was Mary Magdalene? In Mark 16:9 it tells us that she is the one from whom Jesus had driven out seven demon spirits. So she knew what Jesus could do in changing one’s life.

But what had happened to Jesus?

Did they steal Jesus’ body overnight?

Did Jesus come back to life overnight?

Did someone just move his body?

So Mary ran to Peter and John. I suppose those were the closest ones to the tomb.

How do you suppose Mary said the last part of verse 2? (read) If I were there, I probably could not have understood her until she said it the fifth time. What did you say? Say what? Slow down and try it again.

Let’s go.

You think they did a power walk? No. They ran as hard as they could. Hearts pounding and heads dizzy from being out of breath.

John got there ahead of Peter. I think John was talking about himself when he said the other “disciple.” John just looks in and sees the cloth just lying there. Then Peter comes romping up and goes inside the grave. All the clothes were there but the body was gone.

Read verse 8-9

Then Peter and John went back home. They left Mary there at the tomb. Do you suppose they were ready to get away from there? But Mary stayed!!

Mary was crying there. She probably didn’t know what to think.

She saw two angels. Right where Jesus was lying earlier. One angel was at his head and one at his feet.

The angel asks Mary, “Why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put him.”

Then here is Jesus asking again, “Why are you crying?” Mary did not realize this was Jesus. Mary thought it was a yard man.

Mary told him to tell her where he put the body of Jesus.

All Jesus had to say to her was, “Mary.”

At that moment Mary had realized that she saw the Lord. Jesus was standing there in from of her.

Read verse 17

Reckon how fast Mary went back to tell the rest. I think she made some good time running.

Let’s think about Mary a moment. In her sin, she too had come to Christ in darkness, and found Christ. He saved her from her demons. Christ is saving all of us from our sin that day on the cross. He will recognize each one of us by name. He will be ready to say our names when we see Jesus. Like he called Mary by name, he calls us by name. I can imagine Jesus saying Bob, Jan, Elaine, Paul, John, Fern, Joel and the list goes on. He calls our names and we recognize him.

That first night after this, the disciples were locked up in a room out of fear. What do you think they were doing? They were scared of the Jews. They were afraid they would be the next ones to go. Go to trial and the cross.

That is why Jesus said, “Peace be with you” twice.

Read verse 20

Do you think the word overjoyed is appropriate here?

I think they were very excited.

Read verse 22

We have part of Jesus here today by having his Holy Spirit with us. We don’t have Jesus walking the streets with us today. We have the Holy Spirit that he gave his disciple that day. It is through the Holy Spirit that I can see Jesus. He walks among us today.

He will be with me at the wood shop this week. He will be with you at school. If we are looking, we will see Jesus wherever we go this week.

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