Never in all the history of the world has a day started so sad and ended so joyfully! This is the day that the world has been waiting for.
The first thing the scriptures reveal to us about Sunday is that Mary Magdalene (John 20:1) came with other women (Luke 24:1) to the sepulcher, bringing the spices that they had prepared to anoint the body of Jesus (Luke 24:1). Coming to the tomb, they found the stone rolled back and entering the tomb, the found that Jesus was gone (Luke 24:2-3). Suddenly, the angels are beside them in shining garments and speak the words that shall change all of history, “He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:4-8).
There is not yet Joy, however, because Mary is so dulled by her grief that she does not understand yet that Jesus is Risen (John 20:2). Mary Magdalene runs to the other eleven disciples who are obviously gathered together in one place, and tells them that the tomb is empty (John 20:2). Peter and John run to the tomb and find it empty (John 20:3). Finding the tomb empty, the disciples go back to the home where they are staying (John 20:10) still unaware that Jesus had Risen (John 20:9). And then, Jesus appears. Mary is still at the tomb, weeping, when Jesus appears behind her (John 20:14-17). What is so unique about this is that Jesus chose to show himself first to a woman, who would have been very much a second-class citizen in this culture. Jesus speaks to Mary and tells her to go and tell “my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father and to my God and your God” (John 20:17). Did you catch the significance of those words, “my Father and your Father?” Jesus has now resurrected, and so you and I are now brought into the brotherhood of Jesus Christ and into the Fatherhood of God through the Power of the Resurrection! Mary runs to tell the disciples what she has seen (John 20:18).
The appearances keep coming. Jesus appears to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34) although we don’t know much about this meeting. Jesus appears today to the two men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32). Later that evening, Jesus appears to the disciples, although Thomas was absent (John 20:19-23). It was here, after Jesus’ death and resurrection that Jesus imparts the Holy Ghost to the ten (John 20:22).
We like to think of God as a sedate Being. But if we study the scriptures carefully, we learn that God experiences the emotions that He gave to us. Only God experiences these emotions much more fully because God is so much more than we are. Make God as sedate as you want your God to be, but I believe God is absolutely beside himself with Joy this morning! I believe God is up off that Golden Throne. I believe God is dancing, yes dancing right now in the courts of Heaven! I believe God is shouting out the Hallelujahs as loud as Divine lungs can muster! I believe God’s face is streaming with tears right now, but those tears are tears of Joy! I believe God’s face is shining much brighter than that which Moses saw; I believe God’s face is shining so bright this morning that even the angels can hardly bear to look upon Him! The angels have never seen such sheer ecstasy of Joy from their Creator.
Do you think that is too assuming? Sacrilegious? Debasing God? No, no, no, it is not! Imagine yourself with your only son beaten, brutally murdered, and dead. And then imagine with me that your only son is alive again, three days later. And then consider with me that God is so much more than we are. Still sacrilegious? This morning, there is nothing but Joy in the courts of Heaven! From the angels, there is bursting forth a song accompanied by harps that is greater than any chorus that Handel, Beethoven, and Mozart all three could pen together. The angels are up off the ground and are dancing, yes dancing through the courts of Heaven. Every angel is riveted upon God and the Joy of His Majesty! There is joy upon heaven, and joy upon earth. Joy!
By the way, what do you think was going on between the time that Jesus resurrected and He appeared to Mary Magdalene? When Mary came to the tomb, it was already empty. It was a short period of time before Jesus appeared to Mary. I believe there was some very special fellowship and rejoicing between Jesus and God during that time. Do you think God actually stayed in Heaven this whole time? I think not! I believe it is very possible that God came down to earth at the moment that his Beloved Son was Resurrected! The Bible is very clear that God came down to earth at other times. What would you do, if your only son was alive again after being dead? You would go to any extent possible to go meet your son, immediately, right? You would go embrace him, take him into your arms. Go, rejoice that your son was alive! Especially if you possessed the power to be anywhere in an instant. Again, God experiences every emotion that we experience and He is so much more than we are. I believe God came down to earth on the morning of the Resurrection. I believe it is very possible that God himself was standing, waiting outside the Tomb when the stone was rolled back.
Joy! There is Joy like the world has never known before! Joy in Heaven! Joy upon earth! Joy in God’s heart! Joy in Jesus’ heart! Joy in the hearts of the angels! Joy in the hearts of believers for centuries to come! Joy in my heart and joy in your heart! Joy!
Blessing to you as you Rejoice!
Author: Curvin Gordon