Our journey with Jesus to the cross ends today at an empty tomb with Resurrection. His passion is a picture of our own – all suffering, if buried with Christ, is raised in everlasting life. It’s not just a myth of fairytale or far-fetched dream. It’s a promise – a promise for all those who entrust their hearts to Him. Join me this last day of the journey with a scripture to read, a face from the journey of the cross on which to reflect, a prayer to pray, and a practice or suggested discipline to carry out.
Read the Scriptures:
Reflect on a Face of the Cross:
Former prostitute, demoniac, now follower of Jesus, Mary had watched the Teacher she loved endure beatings, mocking, mutilation, and finally crucifixion. At first light on the day after the Sabbath, she quickly went her way to Jesus’ tomb to anoint His body with spices for burial.
After discovering an empty tomb, running to find Simon Peter, and running back to the tomb, Mary finally stops to weep. Distraught, exhausted, weary to the point of an emotional breakdown, desperate to make some sense out of all the suffering, she weeps so much that she apparently misses the fact that the two men in verse twelve are angels.
Enter Jesus. Ready and waiting, He is poised to give one of His closest earthly companions the unexpected gift of the resurrection. When He sees her weeping and hears the desperate nature of her request (to single handedly carry the weight of a dead man’s body probably twice her size through the garden), He breaks. “Mary.” At the sound of her Shepherd’s voice, Mary turns, and experiences incomprehensible surprise and sweetest reunion. It is a meeting of old friends who endured brutal separation, yet now are bound to one another for eternity through the blood of One and the faithful love of the other.
This morning, Christ wants to surprise you with the power of the resurrection, and just as He did with Mary, He wants to call your name. All that is dead in your soul from the trials and sorrows of life, He is waiting to resurrect. For as theologian J. Montgomery Boice writes, as we see with Mary, when love remains through the passion of the cross, not only are faith and hope resurrected, but love blooms in even greater strength.
Whatever passion you have born in this life, whatever sorrows you have suffered, whatever deaths you have endured, take heart. Jesus has overcome death and stands ready and waiting at the mouth of an empty tomb to call your name and hand you the gift of the resurrection.
Rejoice, for He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!
We thank You for the journey of the Passion Week, the triumph of the cross, and power of the resurrection! May we live our lives in joyful thanks and anticipation for Your love and redemption. You are worthy to be praised!
In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.
Spend time today in corporate worship, thanking and praising God for the reality of the resurrection.
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find me on Instagram, @baker.susannah.