It was still dark that Sunday morning. An appropriate way for John to begin his account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. One of the things to appreciate about the Gospel of John it is that word choice means everything. A word like “dark” or “darkness” carries with it a meaning that is deeper than what it may seem.
On one hand, it was literally dark in Jerusalem and at the tomb where Joseph of Arimathea and Niccodemus laid Jesus following his death on the cross three days earlier. The morning sun had not broken through the darkness of the night as a new week began. Darkness filled the skies much like the darkness that greeted us, this morning, as we gathered for this sunrise worship. Continue reading “Easter Sunrise Message: It’s No Longer Dark”
In the dawn of Sunday morning, the day after the Jewish Sabbath following an eventful Passover celebration, Mary Magdalene and some others decided to go to the tomb. Not just any tomb, but the tomb where Joseph of Armiathea had placed Jesus following his death on the cross Friday afternoon. The Sabbath prevented Mary and her friends from journeying to the tomb, but once the sun was up on Sunday morning they proceeded to go to where Jesus was buried.
Scripture gives us conflicting reports as to why Mary visited the tomb. Some say she was there to finish the burial, while John perhaps focuses on her devotion to Jesus by indicating no other desire other than just to be there. The conflicting reports are simply different perspectives of the same story that focuses on what Mary and her group experienced.
However, once they arrived at the tomb that saw something they did not expect. They noticed that the stone used to seal the tomb was rolled away. This was a troubling sight and the group was fearful that something bad had happened. Back then it was common for grave robbers to come and steal items from graves. Mary’s first inclination is that this is what happened. She doesn’t go near the tomb, but the fact the tomb was unsealed leaves this possibility open to her. Continue reading “An Easter Devotion”