Thursday, May 31, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-31 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 14.Peter loved the Resurrection!

Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts2:22-24

These three verses give a powerful word-picture of Jesus Christ:
They describes His Incarnation (Word made Flesh), His ministry, His Deity, His death and His Resurrection.

Peter was transformed by Christ's Resurrection and the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost. In first sermon he preached, great emphasis is placed on the resurrection. We see this in the rest of Acts too...

Peter spends a significant portion of his Pentecost sermon (which converted 3000 people!) talking about Jesus' Resurrection.

Peter's points here are striking and succinct:
1. He was put to agonising death by wicked people (includes you & me)
2. GOD raised Him from that agonising death
3. It was impossible that death should hold Him.

People talk of suicide-by-cop: when people, who feel guilty but do not have the courage to end their lives, will act in a threatening way and the police will be forced to shoot them. Jesus didn't do that. He was innocent, we were guilty.

God raised Jesus - this is an indication that God was satisfied that the price had been fully paid. Jesus experienced the FULL extent of the wrath that our sin had accumulated and there was nothing more to be paid, so God raised Him. (I shudder at the enormity of the agony that was compacted into His death.)

It was Jesus' beautiful deity and sinlessness that made it impossible and inconceivable that ugly death could hold Him. Death is a grim pretender that was not part of God's original creation. Death is the product of sin and disobedience and Jesus' resurrection speaks to us of the supremacy of love, purity and sacrifice. The resurrection tells us that "death and taxes" are not the final reality, but God, goodness, sacrifice and love are what it is all about.

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-30 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 13.Resurrection Process

My apologies for the irregular eDevs the last while - it has been a bit hectic and I have had a lot of internet connectivity problems...
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Romans8:11

Resurrection is not just pie-in-the-sky one-day-when-you-die.

In Ephesians, Paul explains that we are spiritually dead when we live by our sinful nature. For as long as sin runs the show in our lives, we are in a process of dying that will continue to and through our physical death and result in separation from God - the final and ultimate stage of the dying process.

This process of death is terminal - we cannot stop it or reverse it on our own. The root cause is our sinful nature that is the cancer that leads to this death. We cannot change our sinful nature on our own.

God does two incredible things: Christ's death on the cross is like the surgery the removes the "tumours" of our sin. The Holy Spirit who comes to live in us is the "chemo" that deals with the "rogue cells" in our natures that cause the tumours of actual sin.

Death is a _process_ that is at work in us from they day we are conceived in our sinful world, and, if left unchecked, will continue into eternity. The Holy Spirit brings us to Christ so that we may receive forgiveness and enter into a life-giving relationship with Him
through the Holy Spirit's work in our lives.

Resurrection is not just pie-in-the-sky one-day-when-you-die, it is the daily transformation from within that is initiated, empowered and effected by the Holy Spirit. His power at work in us will ensure that death has no hold over us physically or spiritually.

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Friday, May 25, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-25 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 12.New Bodies

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body...
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
55 "Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?" 1Corinthians15:42-57

Will we float around in the clouds and play harps in heaven? Or is it more like merging into the "cosmic consciousness?" Will we be disembodied spirits floating around?

These are all opinions that people have about heaven and eternal life, but they are opinions that are not based on God's Word.

The Bible teaches us a few things about Eternal Life:

1.We will have bodies, but they will be whole and free of frailty. (Note Paul's interplay: perishable-imperishable, dishonour-glory, weakness-power, natural-spiritual.

2."Ah" you might say "see - it says a 'spiritual' body - we are going to float around!" But we also need to remember that Jesus was the "first-fruit" of the resurrection - our resurrection will be like His. He had a physical body that people could touch - he could eat with his disciples and walk on the beach with them (and I'm sure He left footprints in the sand!) But there was power about that body, He could disappear from sight and appear behind locked doors and ascend into heaven - it is a body free of the many limitations we now have.

3. The renewing of our bodies implies continuity. Saints throughout the ages realised that all of life is sacred - it is not only the "spiritual" activities (praying, going to church, reading the Bible) that are important but all of life: looking after our bodies; making food; looking after the sick and the frail and even playing sport should be done with God's honour in mind. Paul is at pains the say there is natural BODY and a spiritual BODY. His point is that this kind of all-round-honouring-God-with-your-whole life is part of heaven. In Revelation we see the saints dressed in white robes, BOWING and CASTING DOWN their crowns before Him. All of life is sacred.

4. The renewing of our physical bodies means victory. God doesn't toss aside our earthly life - He RAISES it. He overcomes the power of sin. It's a subtle difference, but an important one: God doesn't start all over again - He transforms.

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Thursday, May 24, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-24 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 11.Meaning in Life

And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I die every day--I mean that, brothers--just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
"Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die." 1Corinthians15:30-32

Commentators are not entirely sure what Paul meant when he spoke about "wild beasts in Ephesus." Did he mean that they were thrown in the arena, were they threatened with the arena, or was it that the enemies they faced were as vicious as wild animals?

Whichever it was, Paul is adamant that it is the hope of Resurrection that enables us to be courageous and self-sacrificing. The sure hope of the resurrection enables us to hold this life less tightly. It helps us endure hardship and to face frightening circumstances.

The hope of Resurrection puts this life in perspective: This life is preparation, the place where we develop character and where we learn to love God and Others more than ourselves and this life.

Without the resurrection it all seems futile. Why bother? Why not then "eat and drink for tomorrow we die"?

It is sad to observe that this generation of Christians is the most self-absorbed, world-conforming and non-wave-making generation of Christians yet. It is also interesting that this generation of Christians has a very high percentage of people, even highly qualified theologians, who question the resurrection.

Do you think there is a correlation?
Paul does.

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-22 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 10.Christus Rex

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death... 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. 1Corinthians15:20-28

Christus Rex is the Latin Phrase which means "Christ the King" or "Christ Reigns." Today's passage makes this abundantly clear:

1.Jesus is the first to rise from the dead - never to die again! All other humans who experienced resurrection died again. His is the first human body to enter the throne room of God. He is the pioneer, the first-fruit of God's Kingdom Harvest.

2.Death came into the world through Adam and became our mortal enemy (if you will pardon the pun!) Jesus is the "Second Adam" who would defeat death and break its power over us. "The last enemy to be destroyed is death."

3.Jesus will return and when He does, those who belong to Him will experience resurrection and then the end will come. The end is when he "has destroyed all dominion, authority and power."

4.And then... at the end of it all, when He has defeated all His enemies and nothing stands in His way, He will do an amazing thing: having conquered and overcome, He will do what many earthly kings and rulers have not been able to do: He will subject Himself to God the Father so that God may be all in all.

Dear eDev friends, this is our glorious King:
1.Humbles Himself by becoming a child in Mary's womb and submitting to the "squalor of a borrowed stable."

2.Then, having obeyed His Father's will for 33 years in our broken world, He submits to the beating, suffering, torture of the trial and the cross. (Imagine God's Son, spat on, humiliated and crushed.)

3.Then He emerges from the tomb,conquering death and defeating death and every other enemy. There is nothing that stands in His way.

4.BUT He doesn't pathetically cling to power and glory, (which is what Satan tried to do) but lays His crown down before the Father.

What a Saviour, what a Messiah, what a KING!
Bow your head and your heart and WORSHIP Him!

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Thursday, May 17, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-17 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 09.Linked

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 1Corinthians15:12-14

There were some confused and misguided people in Corinth who were saying that there was no resurrection of the body. This false teaching came from Greek philosophy which saw the body as prison on the soul. This separation of physical and spiritual implied that death was the moment that the soul or spirit could float free from the body.

The Christian Gospel's assertion of a bodily resurrection was unpopular with Greek Philosophers (See Acts 17:22-32) and so there were many who argued that there was no resurrection from the dead.

The NIV Study Bible shows how Paul unpacks the implications of this argument - If there is no resurrection of the dead then:
(1) "not even Christ has been raised." (v. 13);
(2) "our preaching is useless" (v. 14);
(3) "so is your faith" (v. 14);
(4) we are "false witnesses" that God raised Christ (v. 15);
(5) "your faith is futile" (v. 17);
(6) "you are still in your sins" (v. 17)
(7) "those also who have have died in Christ are lost" (v. 18); and
(8) "we are to be pitied" (because we endure such hardship for nothing)

The ideas of eternal life, bodily resurrection and the Resurrection of Christ are linked. If bodily resurrection is not going to happen then why did God raise Jesus bodily? And why did He take His body with Him in the ascension?

The resurrection of Jesus kicks-off the wonderful reality of eternal life where we are not just disembodied spirits merging with the "cosmic consciousness" but that we will continue to be body, soul and spirit joined together with all the other saints worshipping God.

This is our great hope and it starts with an empty tomb!

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-16 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 08.A list of witnesses

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 1Corinthians15:3-8

The Resurrection is of "first importance." It is our reassurance that Christ was victorious, that His sacrifice was sufficient and that we have the hope of eternal life.

Paul makes a list of the witnesses of the resurrection. I don't think this is an exhaustive list, but rather a representative one. Paul, by this list, is showing that the resurrection has significance for all of us, no matter what we have done or where we have been.

Let's go through the list briefly:

1:Peter - Disciple, close to Jesus, denied Jesus after promising to stay faithful. Fled the scene weeping bitterly. Found it hard to forgive himself. Jesus specially appeared to him twice.

2:The twelve - His followers, those who had journeyed with Him for three years. They had run away and were very frightened.

3:Five hundred brothers at the same time - we don't have any additional detail about this, but the point is that it is hard to get 500 people to fabricate a false resurrection story. This appearance provides concrete proof the that the resurrection actually happened and although we can't interview the 500, Paul's implication is that the Corinthians could have verified it if they wanted to.

4:James the half-brother of Jesus (See eDev#05) had misunderstood and resisted Jesus, but after the cross and the resurrection, he became the leader of the church.

5:"All the apostles" was probably the group that gathered on the Mount of Olives for Jesus' ascension and they represent the church.

6:The appearance to Paul is interesting because it is a visionary appearance rather than a physical one and it takes place after the ascension and really implies that Christ appears to all of us.

So there are six in the list: those who have failed, those who are frightened, a big crowd that proves it true, those who misunderstood, the church and finally Paul who didn't meet Jesus physically but spiritually.

And by implication you and I are seventh in the list - He appears to us by faith.

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-15 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 07.First Importance

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures... 1Corinthians15:1-4

There has been much discussion around the significance of the Resurrection. Some scholars have expressed their doubts about the physical Resurrection of Christ and have argued that this is not a key issue.

Paul writes a great deal about the importance of the Resurrection. Much of what he has written is found in 1Corinthians 15. To a certain extent we need to take today's passage as part of Paul's "creeds" and we will spend the next few days looking at this significant chapter.

Paul is summarising the gospel he preached.
He goes on to qualify this gospel as the one they received, that they took a _stand_ on and the gospel that _saves_ them if they hold firmly to it.

Paul points out that this is not a new version of the gospel, it is the gospel passed on to him - it has stood the test of time. There are always new and revisionist ideas that tantalise the minds of those who like to "tweak", but Paul's gospel has stood the test of time.

And he lists the four things that are of "first importance":
- Christ died for our sins (Only the Son of God could carry our sins)
- Christ was buried (He was really dead - He was also fully human)
- And Christ was raised from the dead (His victory is complete)

Paul is clear:
The resurrection of Christ _is_ important! It is as important as His death and Scripture predicts, explains and underscores the importance of this victory.

Even if we firmly believe in the resurrection, I think it is vital for us to make sure that it is not simply that we believe this as a historical fact that took place 2000 years ago, but that we will get our hearts with Paul as we understand that this is a matter of "first importance." It is part of our salvation and how we stand firm and it assures us that our faith is not in vain.

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Friday, May 11, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-11 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 06. Thomas

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" John20:19-29

We call him "Doubting Thomas" but that's not how he comes across in the rest of the passages that mention him. In those passages we see Thomas portrayed as courageous and insightful.

In John 11 he declares his willingness to go with Jesus to Jerusalem with Jesus even if it is risky: "Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, 'Let us also go, that we may die with him.'" (John 11:16)

In John 14 Jesus is talking about His departure and He says "You know the way to the place where I am going."
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" So here Thomas is asking the penetrating question that leads Jesus to answer "I am the way, the truth and the life."

But Thomas wasn't with the disciples in the Upper Room on Resurrection Sunday when Jesus appeared to them behind the doors they had so fearfully locked. Was it because Thomas was ashamed that he had run away instead of dying with Jesus as he had committed himself to?

Or was it something else? His nickname (Didymus) means "twin." It might be that he suffered a terrible loss involving his twin and this loss makes it harder for him to believe the good news of resurrection

For those who have suffered great loss, hope is hard to kindle...
But a week later, when Thomas finally sees Jesus, he does not need to touch Him, because it has all become clear: Jesus has suffered incredibly so that we are never ever alone.

Thomas utters the New Testament's greatest statement of faith - "My Lord and My God."

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Thursday, May 10, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-10 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 05.To a badly mistaken brother

Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles... 1Corinthians15:7

James was one of Jesus' four half-brothers.
Although they grew up with Jesus, they had a hard-time believing in Him.They were antagonistic and even thought that Jesus was out of His mind! In Mark's gospel we read that they came to "take charge" of Him because He seemed to out of control to them.

But there was a Realisation:
Can you imagine watching your half-brother being crucified?
We don't know when the penny dropped for James, but we do know that Jesus appeared to him.

Why should Jesus do that? James had no excuse. He had heard of his brother's miraculous birth, the wise men, the angels, the flight to Egypt, not to mention the presence and example of Jesus in their midst. But sometimes familiarity can breed contempt...

We don't have the details except that Jesus took the time to appear to James. BUT we can see the results:

1. Mary, James and his brothers join the church in Acts 1
2. James becomes the leader of the Jerusalem church.
3. James becomes one of the early martyrs

He had made a terrible mistake, he had been so wrong, but he was so forgiven!

What about us?
Has familiarity led you to minimise the importance of Christ in your heart?
Have you suddenly realised how mistaken you have been?
It's not too late...
Just ask James!

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-09 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 04.Comforting Peter

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon. Luke24:33-34

When the two on the road to Emmaus rushed back to Jerusalem with the account of their journey with the Risen Lord, they would also get some news: "The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon."

This is one sentence is a very tantalising piece of information because we have no idea of what may have happened in that encounter, as there is no additional data anywhere else in Scripture. We have to try an imagine what may have happened.

I think Don Fransisco puts it best in his song "He's Alive."

Back inside the house again
The guilt and anguish came
Everything I'd promised Him
Just added to my shame
When at last it came to choices
I denied I knew His name
And even if He was alive
It wouldn't be the same

But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove the shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With his arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried

Then He raised me to my feet
And as I looked into His eyes
The love was shining out from Him
Like sunlight from the skies
Guilt in my confusion
Disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I'd ever had
Just melted into peace

He's alive yes He's alive
Yes He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive yes He's alive
Oh He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive yes He's alive

(You can watch it on You Tube if you have the bandwidth - it is a beautiful recording with an introduction by Don Fransisco and a full orchestra and huge choir doing backing )

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-08 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 3.Getting our perspective right

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Revelation1:17-18

If I were doing these 40 days in some semblance of a chronological sequence, then I should be doing this passage right at the end... This is John the Apostle in exile on the Island of Patmos in about 90AD; some 60 years after the resurrection took place. John receives a vision of the risen Christ.

I am dealing with it here because we need a forceful reminder of the tremendous significance of the resurrection.

John is an old man, persecuted for his faith and near the end of his life. If he wasn't asking the questions, then those around him were...
"Is it worth it?"
"Does it make sense to follow God all your life if all it does is land you up in exile in a dusty penal colony?"
"What is our hope in the midst of all this persecution and opposition?"
"Why should I persevere in my faith?"

John has an incredible vision - He sees the risen and ascended Christ dressed in a magnificent robe with a golden sash. His head and eyes glow with the fire of divine glory, His voice is powerful and a sword comes from His mouth and He holds stars symbolising the church in His hand.

And John collapses!
And the magnificent Christ comforts him.
"I am the Alpha and Omega - I encompass EVERYTHING."
"I overcame death and it remains ever-defeated."
"I have the keys of death and Hades - nothing can withstand me."

The resurrection isn't like Lazarus who was raised and then died again. Likewise some have argued that Jesus didn't actually rise, but "lived on in the hearts and memories of the disciples." That is simply not true. An aged John would not, after sixty years of struggle, have been comforted by a "memory."

The actual resurrection and ascension of Christ is our assurance that life has purpose, that we do not have to fear death and that our sins are completely forgiven because He is alive.

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

Thursday, May 3, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-05-04 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 02.A strange way to spend that Sunday

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" Luke24:13-32

If I were Jesus' press agent, I would be very very concerned about the way He spent Resurrection Sunday! Think about it... His victory was significant. He should have capitalised on the sensation His resurrection would have caused. He should have maximised the number of people He saw and tried to see as many high profile people as possible.

He should have used the day to make an appearance in the temple to show the "Religious Mafia" that they could not defeat Him. He should have gone to the palace to show old Pontius Pilate that he was wrong. He should have appeared in the market place to the biggest crowd possible.

Instead, He spends the bulk of the day (how long does it take to walk eleven kilometres when your heart is broken?) to walk with two unknown disciples on the road to Emmaus.

They were probably a married couple walking home to Emmaus. (This is why they can invite Him to stay with them.) One is named Clopas and we know that there was a Mary, the wife of Clopas, who stood with the women at the cross.

They are walking back from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Their hearts are broken, their dreams are shattered, their hope lost. They loved Jesus and believed in Him and they just cannot understand what has happened.

Jesus spends the day with them. During this time He does five beautiful things for them:

1. Journeys with them - at their pace.
2. Helps them unpack with their pain.
3. Establishes the Scriptures as their foundation.
4. Reveals Himself in the breaking of bread.
5. Sets their hearts on fire.

This sets the pace for the forty days between Resurrection and Ascension. This is what He was doing in the hearts of people over the forty days. For Thomas, for Simon Peter, and so many others.

The press-agents wouldn't have let Jesus spend so much time with one couple, but in their experience we learn that the resurrection means that Christ is with us on the journey of life in the good and bad times, that His Word will guide us, that communion will help us recognise Him and that our hearts can still burn for Him.

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at

EMMDEV 2012-05-03 [Forty Days of Resurrection] 1.He came out saying names

On Easter Sunday Craig pointed out that we spent forty days in Lent preparing for Easter and challenged us to spend 40 days reflecting on the resurrection.

This thought has been ticking over inside me and so, although its a few weeks after Easter and Ascension is on the way, I'm going to share forty thoughts about Resurrection with you.

Hope you enjoy the journey!
"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."
16 Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). John20:15-16

Years ago I did an eleven day cycle ride to raise funds for churches. When the final events of the final day were concluded, I wanted only one thing: to go home! I think I was pretty curt to anyone who wanted to chat...

When Jesus rose from the dead He had conquered sin, death and Satan.
He had obeyed His Heavenly Father and drank the cup given to Him.
He was the Perfect Passover Lamb slain and come to life.
He had a reserved seat at the right-hand of God to look forward to.

One would expect that He was pretty focussed on being done with His earth mission and being with God.
But this is not the case.

The risen, victorious, triumphant, one and only Son of God emerges from the tomb _and_ He is calling people by name!

Mary didn't even recognise Him...
Whether this was the blindness of grief or that her logical mind had told her that He was dead and that this couldn't possibly be Him, the point is that it is His use of her name that sparks recognition.

They say that the most beautiful sound in the world is the sound of your own name.

As our Lord bursts triumphantly from the grave, He is not distracted by thoughts of going home now that the mission is done. For Jesus it has always been about people and not just the mission.
And so now, as Mary struggles, He speaks her name:
Because she is important to Him and He wants to get through to her and so He speaks her name.

And He speaks your name and mine too.

Theo Groeneveld
You can see past EmmDevs at