Who Is It That You’re Looking For?
On the most sacred of all Christian holidays, this coming weekend Christ-followers around the world remember that death does not win, that sin does not control us, and that the God of the universe loves us with such an astonishing love that He personally paid the requirements of the Law on our behalf by dying our death so that we can live His life.
No where is there a God like ours.
Churches all across the planet will corporately celebrate and remember that over 2,000 years ago in an incredible turn of events for humanity, three days of God’s deafening silence gave way to a staggering miracle and a puzzling exchange between our Lord Jesus and one of His most devoted disciples, Mary Magdalene.
“Woman, why are you crying? Who is it that you are looking for?” Mary, not recognizing her Redeemer, began to pour out her hurt and confusion to whom she believed was a stranger.
But why would Jesus purposely conceal himself from her? Did He not understand the pain that she was in? Did it not matter to Him that she, like so many of us when life pierces us, was adrift in the possibility that He wasn’t who He said He was? Did He not see how she wrestled with the dawning shame that the One she publicly aligned herself with as her Deliverer wasn’t going to rescue her after all?
And yet He asks her.
Like Mary, who didn’t recognize that it was her Savior who questioned her, all of us have been guilty from time to time of not seeing Jesus clearly when considering life’s unexpected twists and turns that seem to be hurling us toward utter defeat — especially when that defeat comes on the heels of what we thought was surely going to be amazing triumph.
After all, it had only been a week before that the streets of Jerusalem teemed with people shouting Jesus’ praise. He had worked miracles, He was wiser than Solomon, He raised the dead — and of all things, Mary, former prostitute and fringe of society, was in His company of followers. There had never been a Leader like Him, who not only silenced the prideful, but empowered the throw-away of society to proclaim hope for nations.
And now she found herself with the potential shame of a crucified King, a counterfeit Messiah and a robbed grave. Could it get any worse?
And still He asks her.
Like Mary’s story, Jesus sees our story from the end to the beginning. He sees beyond the pain and the setbacks and the missteps and the embarrassments and the losses. He knows that our lives can be resurrected by the Father, too, if we will only see Jesus plainly for Who He is.
In one of the most moving passages of all Scripture, the Lord finally interrupts her lament with one word: “Mary.” And in an instant, she sees Him again for the first time. This time clearly, with eyes wide open. Against the backdrop of a moment of heart wrenching shame and humiliation, she realizes that the One she put all her trust in lives. Jesus lives! Her Deliverer lives!
This coming Sunday we remember that our King Jesus walked out of a tomb and into the heart of all those who believe that God is not only able, but oh-so willing to restore His human family, the Church, to its rightful place of authority with Him because Jesus paid the penalty of sin for all those who believe. And all those who believe in Him and obey Him are free to live free.
Each year at Faith Center we celebrate the sacrificial beauty of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection on Easter Sunday with an amazing water baptism experience, which we believe is a doorway to discipleship for anyone who desires to see clearly what it is that Christ has done, so that we might join Him in His work here on earth:
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4
We’ll have a powerful message and powerful worship. We believe God’s Word is still true and active in the hearts of all manner of men and women and that worship gives us access to His Presence. It’s going to be so good!
If you don’t have a church home and you’d like to know what it is that God has done for everyone who believes, then please plan to join us. I promise that you won’t be disappointed. It’s my favorite Sunday all year long!
If you do have a home church, go to church, dear one. Your pastor and church family have been praying for you. They miss you, terribly. I promise.
Awaken and Equip
Faith Center exists to awaken people to a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ and membership in the church family and equip them to fulfill their God-given purpose of maturity in Christ, ministry in the church body and missional living in the world.