Summary: Are you open to Jesus? Have you opened your eyes, your mind, your home, and your heart? Jesus wants to share your home and your life with Him. He provides the bread of life to all who invite Him in. Invite Jesus into every part of your life and He will
Have you seen Him?
Have you ever walked along beside someone in a mall or on a street or maybe it happened to you in school when you started talking and carrying on a conversation then turned to find no one there listening. Even worse you turn and find some stranger beside you vaguely interested in what you are saying?
That is the kind of feeling the Disciples had when all of a sudden Jesus appears and reveals Himself as the risen Lord. They were caught by surprise.
In the Gospel accounts we have four different writers reporting about the resurrection of Jesus. They do not all report the appearances in the same way or that Jesus appeared to the same people. There are differences.
Many opponents to Christianity argue that these different tellings point to a fabrication concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When I was a police officer I was taught how to interview and take statements from witnesses. I was taught that people remember events in different ways. Some people remember what was spoken better than others and some people remember what they saw better than someone else while others will remember small details others have overlooked.
In the end I could have four witnesses to a single event but not all four statements will be exact in facts or detail. This kind of evidence is considered - Best Evidence - it comes from an eye witness. The fact that the evidence differs from one witness to the next does not mean the evidence is tainted but rather that the evidence is corroborated.
To put it simply one statement backs up another and supports another in material facts.
Now if I have four witnesses who agree in every fact and every detail then I most likely have four people who got together and conspired to present something as fact when it was not. That’s the time to be really suspicious.
We have a great example of truth telling in the scripture passage for today. John who was the youngest and closest to Jesus gives us real insight into the post resurrection appearances of Jesus.
When the stone was rolled away from the empty tomb it was not moved so that Jesus could walk out of the tomb. It was rolled away so that we could look into the empty tomb and see that Jesus was no longer there.
Jesus resurrection body was changed in that tomb, just as a caterpillar goes through a metamorphosis so too Jesus body went through a mysterious change.
We go through a kind of metamorphosis when we are changed by the power of Jesus love. We are changed from sinner to saint when we trust His resurrection.
The first people to see the risen Jesus are the women. They were going to finish preparing Jesus body according to Jewish ritual. They encountered Jesus but to them He was the gardener. John 20:15
Seeing Jesus as a man is different than seeing Jesus as the risen Christ. When we see and hear Jesus speak to us from the pages of the bible we sometimes listen as if He were just another man speaking when in fact He is the living Son of God.
The women did not recognize Jesus as the risen Son of God until he spoke to them. How do you listen to Jesus? Who do you hear when you listen to Him? Do you hear a great teacher or prophet or do you hear the living Son of God?
For the women their eyes did not recognize Jesus but their ears did. Sometimes we are selective about how much of Jesus we are prepared to accept. Some of us accept His words but not His works. He is not the gardener.
The Disciples were not the first to see Jesus that resurrection Sunday. They were huddled together in a locked room for fear that they too might be arrested and be put to death just as Jesus had been. They realized that the world was not ready to accept Jesus in the same way that they did. They now realized the full price of their faith in Jesus.
Even after the women came and reported that they saw Jesus resurrected only two of them had the courage to run to the tomb and see for themselves. Peter and John unlocked the door and exposed themselves to the world in order to look for the risen Jesus.
Do we hide our faith behind a locked door seeking safety from the outside world? Do we have the courage to step out into an unbelieving world to demonstrate that we are followers of Jesus?
John got to the tomb first but only looked in, Peter went straight in past John and Peter examined the grave cloths. They were arranged just as if someone was still inside them like a cocoon. The cloth used to cover the head was neatly folded. It was as if Jesus was raised through the cloth and left the burial cloth undisturbed.