the stone is rolled away - day 8 of 10

DAY 8 of 10 - APRIL 17, 2022 Special Devotion Written by Dr. Dan Bolin - Taking a Deeper Look into the Wonder of Easter

As the light of dawn sliced across the eastern horizon, Mary Magdalen made her way to Jesus’ garden-tomb. Brokenhearted, grieving, traumatized by the events of the past few days she wanted to be near Jesus. What she saw turned her stomach. What had been a miserable morning became unbelievably worse. The stone that guarded the entrance to the tomb had been rolled away. Peter and John were summoned, and they raced to the scene. They found the tomb empty and Jesus’ grave clothes lying undisturbed. But they did not see Jesus. Once the men headed home, Mary stood alone with her painful and troubled heart. As she wept lonely tears she peered into the open tomb. To her amazement, two angels in dazzling white robes sat where Jesus’ body had rested. Seeing Mary they asked her, “Why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” (John 20:13) In her bewildered state, she backed out of the entrance and encountered a stranger. The tears in her eyes prevented her from recognizing Jesus. Her anguished tears blurred her vision. The pain she experienced kept her from seeing Jesus, even though he stood right in front of her. From Mary’s perspective, she was stumbling through the worst day of her life. From Jesus perspective, this was a day of victory and celebration. Mary’s tear-filled eyes could not see the reality of who and what stood right before her. It is hard to see Jesus through our tear-filled eyes. Like Mary, in moments of pain, anxiety, and abandonment, we miss the reality that Jesus is right there with us; willing to stand with us and provide the care we need in the midst of our pain. The ache of that transformational morning would soon spin into a wild celebration. The most astounding plot twist to conclude any story could not compare. The greatest come from behind victory ever imagined would seem inconsequential. Jesus, whom she had seen die, was standing before her, very much alive. Tears of distress instantly morphed into tears of delight. Their exuberant encounter ended abruptly as Jesus gave Mary two directives. “Do not hold on to me.” And, “go instead to my brothers.” As much as that moment was a time for joy, it was also a time for action. Jesus is not only the one who wipes away our tears, he is the one who calls us to tell others the good news, “He is alive!” That is the story of Easter; God, doing what only he could do, to reconcile the world to himself. Because of Easter He continues to wipe away our tears, allowing us to see him and the world through clear eyes, and commissioning us to tell others the great news: Jesus died and was buried. That he rose again and was seen by many witnesses. Tears come and go, at times blurring our vision of God and the world. But some day, He will wipe away all our tears. The pain will be gone, and we will see him as never before. The Apostle John records the words of a song that is sung in heaven because of Easter. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 7:16-17) Enjoy Easter. Allow God to wipe away your tears. Remember, He is always near. Enjoy this day of victory. And go, tell others the great news.

Dan Bolin President Refueling in Flight Ministries, Inc