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Friday, June 6, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 35

1 Peter 5:10-11 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Read John 20:1-17. Imagine for a moment that you are Mary Magdalene. It is Easter morning and you are walking out of the empty tomb. You are devastated. Not only have you witnessed the greatest injustice in the history of humanity, the brutal crucifixion of your friend Jesus, but now someone has stolen His body. At this moment you have lost all hope. Thoughts of agonizing crosses and wicked grave robbers fill your thoughts. There is nothing right in the world.

But then a kindly and, somehow, familiar gardener walks over to offer consolation. You mumble something about returning the body if he has taken it, and feel almost sorry for insulting him. But, just as you are about to apologize, He speaks your name, “Mary!” And you can’t contain yourself because the grave couldn’t contain Him! It is Jesus! It is the Lord! He is risen! Alleluia!

In that moment, everything changed for Mary. All the evil and the injustice were gone from her mind. All that was so terribly wrong was made right again. There in that graveyard, death was being reversed. She was with the ever-living Jesus.

Today in these verses, the Lord promises to make us a part of that story. We too will see the risen Jesus and all will be made right. When Christ returns, all the injustices, tragedies, sorrows, diseases, corruptions, and deceptions will be undone. Christ will raise up His church in His eternal glory! So, while we may feel like Mary just before she saw Jesus, Easter is at hand! “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). So, we pray, “Come Lord Jesus!”

+PRAYER+
Father, we praise you for raising Christ from the dead. We wait with great anticipation to sing and rejoice with Mary when we see Him at the resurrection. Let Him return soon, we pray. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *

Pastor Bob

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