10/29/Th – The Word of Revelation

2 Samuel 17:17-29; John 20:1-18; Psalm 119:129-136; Proverbs 26:20

NT: “On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she went running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him!” At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb… The wrapping that had been on his head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself… But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. She saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’s body had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “Because they’ve taken away my Lord,” she told them, “and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus. “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?” Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve carried him away, tell me where you’ve put him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” Turning around, she said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” — which means “Teacher.” “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus told her, “since I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”” (‭‭John‬ ‭20:1-3, 7, 11-17‬ ‭CSB)

Even though, multiple times, Jesus taught that He would rise again on the 3rd day, His disciples and followers were still blinded to that reality. Mary Magdalene, the first person to arrive at the empty tomb, instead of realizing that Jesus had risen, assumed that His body had been stolen. Peter and John, apparently didn’t know what to think… but they didn’t realize that He had risen either… even after seeing Jesus’ grave clothes neatly lying in place. Grave clothes were not a robe that could easily be removed. Grave clothes were strips of linen strips of cloth that were tightly wrapped around the dead body with spices in between the layers of cloth. If someone had stolen the body, they would have taken the body in the grave clothes… and if they had attempted to remove the grave clothes, it would have left a huge mess. The evidence clearly pointed that Jesus’ body was not stolen. Even after having angels appear to her, Mary was still convinced that Jesus’ body had been stolen. It wasn’t until Jesus spoke her name that her eyes were opened and she finally had the revelation that Jesus was alive.

Psalms: “Your decrees are wondrous; therefore I obey them. The revelation of your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced. I open my mouth and pant because I long for your commands. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your practice toward those who love your name. Make my steps steady through your promise; don’t let any sin dominate me. Redeem me from human oppression, and I will keep your precepts. Make your face shine on your servant, and teach me your statutes. My eyes pour out streams of tears because people do not follow your instruction.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:129-136‬ ‭CSB)

As I read the psalmist’s description of God’s word, it challenges me. He wrote that the  decrees (testimonies) of God’s word that testify to Who He is were so wonderful that He was compelled to obey God’s laws. He then wrote that God’s words not only bring the revelation of God, but also bring light and understanding. So enthralled by God’s word was he, that he desperately longed for them like a thirsty man pants after water. He then ended this stanza by expressing the deep sadness that comes over him when people reject God’s words and don’t experience the wonder, revelation, light, and understanding that He experienced. Do I allow myself to stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of God’s word? Do I allow myself to be completely amazed time and time again at God as He reveals Himself by His word? Am I compelled to obey God’s word, will, and ways because of the life if gives me? Do I long desperately to be led by God’s word every day? Do I weep for those who choose to reject God’s word? I hope so… and to whatever degree that I don’t, I ask God (like the psalmist did) to be gracious to me like He always is for people who love His name.

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