Connections 04.04.2021: Here, There, and Wherever

John 20:1-18

Look at Mary. She is right here. She is standing outside the tomb, weeping.

She has already discovered the empty tomb. She has already reported her discovery to Simon Peter and the Beloved Disciple. They have already come to the tomb, inspected it, and gone home.

But Mary has returned to the tomb. Look at her. She is right here. She is standing outside the tomb, weeping.

And because Mary is here…

Look now. Jesus is here with Mary. He is here with her, calling her name.

“Mary!”

Listen. Jesus is speaking to Mary. He is telling her that he isn’t going to stay here. He tells her to go tell the other disciples that he is ascending to the Father.

He will go there.

(It is interesting that John never reports Jesus’ actual ascension.)

Mary goes. She tells.

(But John does report several appearances of Jesus to his disciples.)

Jesus goes there.

We stay here.

Jesus is here too.

Jesus is there with the Father. Jesus is here with us.

Someday we will be with Jesus where he is. Today Jesus is with us where we are.

The resurrected Jesus is there.

The resurrected Jesus is here.

The resurrected Jesus is wherever he needs to be.

The resurrected Jesus is wherever he needs us to be.

The resurrected Jesus is wherever we need him to be

Discussion

  • None of the Gospels describe Jesus’ resurrection. Why do you think that is the case?
  • Why do you think Peter and the Beloved Disciple just went home after visiting the empty tomb?
  • Why might John have Jesus say he is ascending to the Father, but then not report his ascension?
  • Why do we need to develop an increasing awareness of and sensitivity to the presence of the resurrected Christ? How can we do so?

Michael Ruffin is husband to Debra, father to Joshua (Michelle) and Sara, grandfather to Sullivan and Isabella. A graduate of Mercer University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he has previously served as a pastor and as a university professor. He lives on the Ruffin Family Farm in Yatesville, Georgia. He is the Connections Series Curriculum Editor.

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