28.2 John – Race

In our verses today we see more running about than probably anywhere else in scripture short of Elijah racing the chariot or Jacob fleeing Esau.  Mary rushes to the grave site at or before the crack of dawn even without a plan for rolling back the stone.  Upon finding the tomb empty she runs to Peter and John, who, in turn, take off running to the grave.  Next thing we know, Mary is back at the grave as well.

Why all the running?  All of it starts with the assumptions in their minds.  Mary assumes “they” have taken Jesus’ body.  Peter and John assume they need to get to the scene ASAP to either confirm or repute what she has told them while the evidence is fresh.  And, yet, it is not until they stop running that any of them find what they are looking for.  John stands there and finds that he believes.  Mary stands crying and hears her name called by Jesus.

Isn’t this how our lives go, too?  We run from thing to thing, trying to do the “right thing.”  We are busy, busy, running and serving and working and leading.  We run our kids from event to event.  We run to appointments.  We run to prepare meals.  Jesus is present with us when we are running (just as he was present with the men on the road to Emmaus), but we are so busy running and hurting and running from the hurt, that we don’t see or recognize Him even when He is there.

We know we need to stop, and sit at Jesus’ feet.  We know we need to be fed to feed others, but, we fear that if we stop the guilt of stopping will catch up with us, because stopping would be for us, while running is for other people.  But, as we’ll see throughout our lessons this week, Jesus wants us to stop.  Over and over again he brings a gift and a command both in the same words:  “Peace be with you.”  The very thing that Jesus gives us, Satan works the hardest to deny us: Peace.  Satan lies to us that running and running gives us more, while we know that it does not.  Satan lies that we must constantly serve others and are not worthy of having peace ourselves, Jesus provides it as a gift.  Satan wants us rushing and unsettled and missing out, Jesus wants us to stand still, hear His voice, and have joy and belief.

Don’t “slow down” this week, but instead, take time to actually stop and be with the Lord.  He did not make Peter and John stand in the tomb for days.  He didn’t make Mary weep for hours.  You don’t have to lock yourself away for hours either.  But you do have to be willing to accept the gift and command – Have Peace!

My Answers:

3.
a.
Both immediately raced to the tomb.  Upon arrival, John hesitated to enter while Peter rushed right in.

b.
I’m hesitant and retrospective.  I am more engaged when I’m doing it with a partner.

4.
Unwrapped linens and the covering over His face.  We are not told why, but if his body had been taken, it would not have been unwrapped.

5.
1 Cor 15:14 – And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
Without the resurrection, death is not defeated.  There is punishment without forgiveness.

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