IT REALLY DID HAPPEN

The city of Jerusalem is silent.  The Passover is finished. The throbbing excitement of the past few days is over.  The cruel voices of the mob to crucify Jesus are still now.  The city sleeps.  A bloody period, it seems, has been placed at the end of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

But, in the midst of the stillness of Jerusalem, there is one who moves restlessly through the city streets and on through the gate of the city.  It is a woman, bent and frail, her hands are clutched as in unutterable grief and there are tears on her face.  It is Mary Magdalene.  What tragedy Christ’s death was to Mary.  He had done so much for her.  She had lived in open sin and shame but by His love, He had lifted her to a new way of life and to self respect.  Now, all of this is gone.  Jesus was dead. He had died before her very eyes.  She came to the tomb, but to her amazement the tomb is empty.  She knows not who took the body nor where the body had been placed.   As Mary stood in the half darkness, suddenly there was a figure standing in the deeper shadows.  She thought he was the gardener and she said,   “They have taken my Lord away…and I don’t know where they have put Him…  Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary.”  She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni” (which means Teacher).  John 20:15-16  Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord.”  John 20:18
I can only imagine what Mary must have felt.  But, she knew what she saw.  She saw Jesus resurrected from the dead.  She had to share such good news.

  Christ is alive.  How do you know?  Because He lives in your heart.  That is subjective evidence, very personal.  But, there is objective truth.  The resurrection is a historical fact based on reliable witnesses.  Jesus appeared alive, following His death and burial, to many people.  He appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the women, to two men on the road to Emmaus, to Simon Peter, to ten Apostles, to seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee, to over 500 people at once, to James, to the Apostles at the time of His ascension, and to the Apostle Paul at the city gate of Damascus.  Now, these are all matters of historical fact.  What we do with such evidence is a matter of faith.

I thought of the preacher, William Sangster.  he was dying of cancer. He could get around but couldn’t speak.  He lived with his daughter.  One Easter Sunday, he became very despondent and discouraged. The daughter hardly knew what to say to this preacher.
Mr. Sangster wrote on a pad, “What a tragedy.  Resurrection Lord’s Day and no voice with which to praise my great Redeemer’s name.”   His daughter could give him no answer.
Finally, this broken hearted man wrote, “There is only one thing more tragic – to have a voice and fail to praise the great Redeemer’s Name.

Praise Him who died for our sins, was buried and then rose from the dead.

 

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