Dear Reader, thank you for joining me on the road to the cross. My heart leaps to share the old, old story that remains new. Please accept my humble accounting of the treacherous path Jesus and His followers took to the cross, and gloriously beyond. (Road to the Cross will continue during our visits this Lenten season.)
Can it get any worse? They’ve killed my Master.
They tortured and humiliated and killed him. All that’s left is this final task. And yet, my pace slows with every step, the heaviness of my spirit weighing down my feet.
Can I do it? Can I complete this final act of service to my Lord?
There’s the tomb, but hesitation holds me in its grip. The stone of this neighboring tomb feels cool and smooth beneath my hand. Let me rest, just for a moment, rest from heartbreak and weariness of soul.
He walked on the water. He healed the sick, and even raised Lazarus. He fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes. Has he really left us?
Where are the miracles now?
God, help me do what must be done. He was disgraced in death. Give me strength to to restore some honor to him.
Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag′dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
John 20:1 RSV
How could this have happened? The soldiers rolled a stone across the door to the tomb. Who could be so cruel?
We must find him!
Where are the disciples? Why aren’t at least Peter, James, and John here?
2 So she ran to Simon Peter and the other follower (the one Jesus loved very much). She said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”
3 So Peter and the other follower started going to the tomb. 4 They were both running, but the other follower ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down and looked in. He saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in.
8 Then the other follower went in—the one who had reached the tomb first. He saw what had happened and believed. . . . 10 Then the followers went back home.
RSV John 20:2-5, 8, 10
Where are they going? We have to find him! How could they just leave like that? I must find him! But where to look? Where do I begin?
Our Master taken. John and Peter abandoning hope. Am I to search alone?
11 Mary Magdalene stood crying outside the tomb. She was still weeping, when she stooped down 12 and saw two angels inside. They were dressed in white and were sitting where Jesus’ body had been. One was at the head and the other was at the foot. 13 The angels asked Mary, “Why are you crying?”
She answered, “They have taken away my Lord’s body! I don’t know where they have put him.”
14 As soon as Mary said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But she did not know who he was. 15 Jesus asked her, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener and said, “Sir, if you have taken his body away, please tell me, so I can go and get him.”
John 20:11-15 CEV
Angels and gardeners. I am trapped, trapped between heaven and earth, and all I long for is to see my Savior again.
He gave me everything when I had nothing to offer him. And now I am blinded to all this world holds.
16 “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned toward him.
“Master!” she exclaimed.
17 “Don’t touch me,” he cautioned, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.”
18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
John 20:16-18 TLB
How can this be? I saw his horrible death, his broken body taken from the cross. But He lives! My Savior lives!
They’re never going to believe me! Faster, I need to run faster. He lives! My Savior lives! I’ve got to tell them.
It was all true, everything He told us, everything we could not believe because we did not understand. But it’s all true: my Savior lives!
“Peter! John! He lives! The Master lives! I saw Him, spoke to Him! He told me to come tell you that HE LIVES!
Come, I will show you!”