Wednesday, September 9, 2015

first words

  The first words...first things Jesus had to say after the resurrection...have to be worth considering.  What would Jesus say to the ones who had been closest to Him after defeating death?  In the book of John (chapter 20) we see the first person that Jesus spoke with was Mary Magdalene.  She was upset when Jesus was missing from the tomb and, mistaking Jesus for a gardener, asked where the body had been taken.  Jesus speaks her name to let her know it is he.  Right away He gives her a job to do!  She is sent to tell the disciples a message: "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."  Later that same day Jesus went through a locked door and appeared in the midst of the disciples.  He showed the marks of the nails in His hands and the spear wound in His side and said, "Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you."  And then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit". 
When Jesus comes to us he knows our name, just like Mary.  He calls us personally, in the same way.  And as He did with Mary and the disciples He establishes His identity, speaks peace, provides His Spirit to accompany us and gives us a job to do.  After He told them to receive the Holy Spirit He identified the mission they were being sent on.  It was the ministry of forgiveness...the mission He had come to fulfill in our midst. He said, "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."  We are either on the mission to continue the work of forgiveness or we are not. 
He speaks our names, brings His peace, equips us and sends us to tell others. 
Rob Smith

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