I can't think of a better collection of seemingly random stories to lead us to Jesus' resurrection. This powerful event, this story that changes everything for us who are believers, is a surprising moment when God's joy spilled over into our world and rewrote the ending to all of our stories. It is our ultimate bookmark. It brings us untold joy because in this place, this victory, life is found in the middle of death and beats it. This moment of music pulls all the rest of our lives into harmony with God. This powerful unfolding of God's might was unveiled among a company of friends who had to coax along a reluctant friend named Thomas to re-meet his living Lord. Most of all, it is the story of a horrible accident — an unconscionable miscarriage of justice — that brought all of us the best break we'll ever receive.
For me, the one incredible tidbit of delight in this story comes from an unlikely place; it occurs at the tomb of Jesus before anyone outside the heavenly viewing room knows that Jesus is raised. The event involves Mary Magdalene and the angels. Let me share the verses with you:
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. "Why are you crying?" the angels asked her. "Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I don't know where they have put him." (John 20:11-13 NLT)
Did you catch the sparkle of this little gem of faith? Look carefully at what Mary said to the angels in response to their question. She says, "Because they have taken away my Lord ..."
Isn't that the bottom line of the resurrection for all of us? Stuck in the darkest night of our soul, in the place where all seems lost and all hope has been stomped underfoot by the hosts of hell, we still hold on to Jesus as our Lord, then while we're not expecting him to do anything, he comes and reveals himself as the gracious, risen, and living Savior — our Savior.
And everything is changed. A new bookmark is made. All music is re-tuned. Each friendship is re-defined. And the worst of bad breaks is made more than whole. And why? Because Jesus is Lord!