Author: Kenny Chan, English Pastor, Chinese For Christ Church of San Jose
2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
15 “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). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. (John 20:2, 15-18, NIV)
In the passage in John 20:2, 15-18, we see the disciples’ reaction and response to the news that His body “had been taken” (v. 2) and His appearing to Mary (v. 16-18). In terms of emotions and feelings, you could say they go from one extreme to the other like a pendulum: extreme sadness and grief (over His death), disbelief and bewilderment (over His missing body/empty tomb), and praise and joy (over His resurrection) all within a short period of time. Our church celebrated the Communion or the Lord’s Supper recently. Communion is a time of remembering Christ’s death on the cross yet rejoicing over His resurrection. I’ve noticed when our church celebrates Communion, it tends to be a rather somber event. It is a very serious event and should not be taken lightly. In fact, Paul warns us not to take the Lord’s Supper flippantly (1 Cor. 12:27-28). Yet, it is also a time of celebration and rejoicing over Christ’s victory over death and offers us new life in Him! That fact alone should fill us with great praise and lasting joy in our lives. However, one Christian author likens the atmosphere in some churches when they serve Communion to be “more like a funeral service of a fallen comrade than a celebration of the risen LORD.” Let’s not just celebrate Communion but more importantly, live our lives; let our lives be characterized by great joy and praise. Would others describe us as joyful or, would they instead use words like “serious, somber, and sober?” If you’re a follower of Christ, no matter what else might be happening in your life, you have reason to celebrate and rejoice because of your salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. That alone is enough to give God the loudest shout of praise!
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior