Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where You Stand Determines What You See

Click here FIRST and read the passage before reading on.

Mary Magdalene had just frantically returned from an empty tomb — Jesus was not in the tomb.  When she got there the stone was rolled away from the tomb and the tomb that once housed the body of her beloved Rabbi was gone.  So she ran back to the disciples to tell them of what she had found, that someone had taken the body of Jesus.  So Peter and "the other disciple" (John) took off for the tomb.  Peter took off first, running as fast as he could to get to the tomb.  And even in this adrenaline pumping moment of the passage, John points out that "the other disciple" actually outran Peter (a little competitive maybe?).  However, being first does not always mean you get the best seat.

When John arrived at the tomb, he peered in from the entrance of the tomb.  "And stopping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in" (John 20:5).  From that vantage point he saw some but not all.  The passage then says this:  "Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb" (John 20:6a).  Peter didn't wait at the entrance and peer in.  Nothing was going to keep him back from charging that tomb.  Here is what he saw:  "He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself." (John 20:6b-7).  After Peter went in, "the other disciple" joined him (how can you keep standing outside after someone else has conquered fear and gone inside?).

There was something in Peter that propelled him into that tomb.  John held back.  What was it? Look at the passage:  "Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead" (John 20: 8 ).

Getting to worship first doesn't really matter if you don't go all the way in to commune with your beloved Rabbi.  Reading the most Bible passages in one day means nothing if you didn't meet with the One who wrote those passages, inviting you into a relationship with himself.  Showing up to a party before everyone else does not mean that you get to know the host of that party more unless you actually engage in a conversation with him.

Where are you? Are you standing outside peering in to see what it's like, thinking that you have actually come to believe, or have you barreled through the fear of the unknown to see the miraculous that Jesus is and does—seeing for yourself that he truly is that amazing.  If you lean toward the first, it's time to walk on in, conquer your fear, and meet Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment