Monday, May 28, 2012

Afar Off–Part 8

When we left off, Jesus had been crucified and buried.  But the source of that light, no matter how distant it seems hasn’t gone away.  It still pushes against the darkness.  Jesus has been anointed for burial, placed in the tomb, the tomb sealed.  He’s locked in.  Soldiers prevent grave robbers or the disciples from stealing the body of Our Lord.  Jesus is “locked in”.  Or is He?

The Resurrection is one of those important events that, in a sense, is also unimportant.  That's not to take anything away from it.  But think about it.  The Resurrection was part of the plan but not as anything that contributed to our salvation.  On the other hand, it was evidence that this was really God, the Son of God dealing with the situation.  Jesus wasn't just some guy who died a painful martyr's death, was buried in the ground, and stayed in the grave. So, what does the Bible say were the sequential evidences of Jesus being seen after His burial?

Going back to the Gospel of Matthew and chapter 28, we see that Jesus first appeared to the women.  And, more precisely, to Mary Magdalene, then the rest of the women.  Before the men disciples! Have you ever wondered why?  I know I have.  I can only guess at what seems logical, at least in terms of the way we know Jesus operated.  In that day, women were considered less than men.  And Mary Magdalene had been not only a woman, but a prostitute.  Not only lower than men, but the lowest of the low -- scorned by all.  I can picture the women needing extra emotional and spiritual support that only He could give.  Isn't it just like our Lord to start with Mary Magdalene, letting her know that positionally, she was equal to the other women?  Then, meeting the other women next. Perhaps indicating that they positionally are as important as the men?  An example of Mark 10:31, "But many that are first shall be last; and the last first."  Lowly women raised up to equal investment in the spiritual plan.  Equally worthy of salvation.

According to Mark 16 and Luke 24, the next people to see Jesus were the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  We can only wonder why them next.  I can only surmise possible reasons.  The apostles and other disciples were gathered together in Jerusalem, gaining some spiritual protection from being together.  These two, on the other hand, were alone with no spiritual covering.  Whatever the reason for them to travel, they were missing the covering from the unity of being gathered together with the others.  So, that's where Jesus went next.  To build them up in the faith and give them the spiritual covering they needed.

Jesus next visited the apostles and those with them.  It was then that He had Thomas touch His wounds.  No condemnation for his doubts, just the strengthening Thomas needed to take his faith to a whole new level.  And, in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus converts Saul the Christian killer to Paul the apostle.  And then is seen by a crowd of 500.  And by the time we get here, do you see a recurring theme to Jesus' actions upon being resurrected?

Yes, showing people that He had risen was a demonstration of Jesus' Godhood.  But it was never as a "look at Me" kind of show. In each instance we see Jesus edifying believers, building them up, strengthening their faith, preparing them to go on in their walk with God.  The light wasn't over the horizon as in John Vincent's photograph.  It was directly in their lives.  More next time.

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