|Vol. VII Number 14||April 20, 2003|
This Easter we see many who are searching for Jesus. Many have trouble finding Jesus is this complicated world that we live in. Many think that the Lord is elusive and hard to find. The reason that many cannot find the Lord is because they are looking in all of the wrong places. Let's read the Easter Story in the Gospel of John.
1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Mary came to the sepulchre seeking to anoint the body of Christ with ointment. When she saw the stone rolled away she thought some grave robber stole the body of Christ. She came looking for the Lord among the dead when Jesus was among the living.
After Peter and John left, Mary thought that she saw a gardener when in fact she was seeing the Lord. When Jesus revealed himself to her, she believed.
When Mary saw the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, she went to Peter and John and told them that the Lord's body was taken. Both Peter and John ran to the grave site to see the mischief and to try to remedy the situation. John arrived first but Peter was the one who entered the tomb first. They both saw the grave clothes. The scripture says that John believed, but there is no mention of Peter's belief. They both went home.
Thomas is the most interesting subject for he refused to believe the reports of all of the other disciples. All of the others saw the arisen Lord Jesus and gave the report to Thomas. Thomas needed to see the Lord for himself. He needed to experience the Lord for himself. He was not going to rely on other reports or testimony. He needed to experience the Lord for himself.
There are many who have heard of the Lord but do not believe because they have not experienced the Lord for themselves. The Lord has poured out his Holy Spirit so that each of us can experience the Lord for ourselves. The Lord wants us to experience him for ourselves so that our belief is sure. This way when we testify about the Lord it is our first hand testimony and not the testimony from others.
Finally we come to you! Have you experienced the Lord for yourself? Have you really believed based on your own experience? Is your belief based on your first hand knowledge or is it based on what others have told you about the Lord? You can experience the Lord's goodness for yourself tonight. Jesus wants you to believe totally in him.
3014 E Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134
Church Office Phone: (215) 634-3637
Published by: Rev. LeRoy D. Cressy (215) 535-4037
|Sunday School||. . . . . . . . . . . . . .||11:30 AM|
|Sunday Morning Worship||. . . . . . . . . . . . . .||12 NOON|
|Sunday Evening||. . . . . . . . . . . . . .||6:30 PM|
|Wednesday Evening||. . . . . . . . . . . . . .||7:30 PM|
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