Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 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!” —John 20:1-2
07 Apr, 2023
Today’s devotion is brought to you by Edwin Estioko. Edwin is a senior photojournalist working at Compassion Philippines.
It’s Easter Sunday! We remember this day with happy celebrations and victorious worship gatherings. Perhaps we picture in our minds Christ bursting from the grave with an explosion of light, His glory piercing through the darkness. But was the resurrection morning anything like that at all? Did the angels proclaim Christ’s resurrection as they did His birth? Was there singing and music? There was none. It was quiet. It was dark.
In John 20:1, we read that “while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that it was open.” The sight perplexed Mary. She sprinted back to where Peter and John were, not to celebrate a glorious miracle, but to report a horrible event. They thought somebody had stolen the Lord’s body and they didn’t know what to do. It was still dark. The sun has not completely risen, and neither did the light in their hearts. No chorus was played, no celebration services were held, no victory marches took place. The disciples were confused and defeated because “they still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead” (John 20:9).
Today, the world celebrates Easter Sunday, but the reality is that there is still darkness in the world.
Even as Christians, we often fail to see the true meaning and power of Christ’s victory over the grave.
It’s easy to be discouraged by the conflict, economic instability, natural disasters and many other devastating events in our world.
Peter and John too were discouraged. They left the tomb with their heads down, not realising that Jesus had just risen victorious over sin and death. As we continue reading John 20, we see that Mary remained at the tomb in tears, not knowing that the Lord and Saviour was with her all the time. She mistook Christ as the gardener. Her heart was still hopeless, until she heard Jesus call her name.
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”) (John 20:16).
The power of Christ’s resurrection can only truly be felt when you hear His voice calling your name.
He knows you. He gave His life and rose victorious because of His love for you. Let the light of Christ’s resurrection rise in your heart, like the glory of the sun signalling the arrival of day. Then it will no longer be dark.
Jesus did what He said He would do—He rose victorious! This marked the end of the power of sin and death in our lives both now and forever. In time to come, we will fully enter into His finished work of restoration. But now, we have this hope as an anchor for our souls. The troubles in this present age are temporary, but the promise of God is eternal. There is coming a day where there will be no more death, darkness, crying or pain—Jesus will have the final word and we shall live in eternal light and victory.
Words by Edwin Estioko.
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