He saw and believed

Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. so she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Peter then came bout with the other disciple, …they both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came…and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. The the other disciple who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the Scripture that he must rise from the dead.

John 20:1-10

“He saw and believed.” In this Gospel account, John sees the empty tomb and the discarded burial cloths, and believes.

Even before this takes place, John loved Jesus. He respected Him. He left his father and their family business of fishing to follow Him. And unlike the other disciples, he did not abandon Jesus as Jesus suffered on the cross. But in this story, John tells his readers that it is the empty tomb, the evidence that Jesus had arisen from the dead, that caused John to believe. Furthermore, John admits that neither he, nor the older Peter, even understood the Scripture until the Resurrection.

What does this mean? It means that these two disciples, so close to Our Lord, did not believe Jesus or understand all that the Scripture had foretold about Him.

Jesus had revealed to them who He was and that the Jewish Scripture were fulfilled in Him. Presumably Peter and John accepted this, because they continued to follow Him. Peter had confessed that Jesus was the Messiah, “the Son of the living God.”(Matt 16:16) So when John says that it was only on seeing the empty tomb that they came to understand and believe, what is he talking about?

What they had not believed and understood was that Jesus came to overturn the reign of sin and death. God is Lord of life and He never intended suffering or death. When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, they brought pain, suffering, and death into creation. The Son of God became man liberate man and all of creation from the power of sin and death and God’s Kingdom of life and love might flourish. The empty tomb was the evidence that He was victorious.

For Reflection

Do you believe that Jesus has power over sin and death? If so, ask for his help with any sin that you struggle with.

Activity

For a beautiful printable coloring page go to http://www.supercoloring.com/pages/empty-tomb

For a fun paper mache tomb activity go to https://birmingham.citymomsblog.com/holidays-and-seasons/easter-lessons-mom/

Amazing Faith

Luke 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not conisder myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here, ‘ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this and he does it.”  When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him…

How does one amaze the God-Man?

Faith. Jesus says, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

The Centurion is a Roman soldier. The Romans were pagans who often worshipped many false gods. The Israelites were the “Chosen People” of God. God had revealed himself to them and continually saved them and cared for them. They should have had great faith, and indeed many did.  But let us compare the faith of the Jewish elders in this story to that of this Roman soldier.

Remember that the soldier sent “elders of the Jews to Jesus” because he did not believe himself worthy of asking Jesus’s help. What do the elders say? “He deserves to have you do this for him…” The soldier is so humble, he will not approach Jesus. The elders on the other hand tell Jesus, “this man deserves to have you to do this for him.” While they tell Jesus what he should do, the soldier acknowledges that he is not even worthy to have Jesus enter his house. He humbly awaits Jesus’s command, knowing that even a word from Jesus will accomplish all that he asks.

For Reflection:

As Christians, we have been baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and given the gift of faith. Do we believe that Jesus owes us something? or are we like the Roman centurions, humblying asking for Jesus to make us worthy of his help?

Prayer:

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter my house, but only say the word,

and I shall be healedrome-clipart-roman-centurion-10

If you have thoughts you would like to share…

The frustrations of the Savior

Matthew 17:14-20

A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said,
“Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely;
often he falls into fire, and often into water.
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
Jesus said in reply,
“O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?
Bring the boy here to me.”
Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him,
and from that hour the boy was cured.
Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said,
“Why could we not drive it out?”
He said to them, “Because of your little faith.
Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Continue reading