Daily Devotionals

Easter at Sagebrush - Monday


“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” John 20:17


I was recently reminded that a day can make a huge difference. Meeting your future spouse happens all in one day, a day that changes your life forever. Getting a promotion happens all in one day, although putting in all of the work to get that promotion takes a lot of time and effort. Having an accepted offer on your dream house happens in one day, although it may have taken you a lot of work to get there. A random Tuesday can be that day that changes the course of your life. One day can make all the difference. This statement has never been truer than on Easter Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the grave and conquered sin and death once and for all.

John 20 records the events that took place on the day Jesus rose from the grave, the day that changed the course of history. Early in the morning, Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb. It had been three days since Jesus’ death. When Mary went to the tomb, she “found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance” (verse 1). She found Peter and John, who is referred to in this chapter as “the one whom Jesus loved,” and said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him" (verse 2). Peter and John ran to see Jesus' tomb and saw that it was as Mary had described (verses 3-9). Peter and John went home, but Mary "was standing outside the tomb crying" (verses 10-11). While she was at the tomb, she saw a man standing there. She did not realize it was Jesus (verse 14). After asking her who she was looking for, Jesus said, "Mary" (verse 16). Immediately, she knew it was Jesus, and Jesus instructed her to go and tell His disciples that He was alive (verse 20). This was the greatest news, and it was meant to be spread.

We are so familiar with the story of Jesus' resurrection that we may miss the shock and the joy that Mary Magdalene, Jesus' disciples, and all of the other people who saw Jesus rise from the dead felt when He appeared to them. This news that Jesus rose from the dead was history-altering news. Jesus had changed everything by defeating sin and death once and for all. Because of Jesus and His resurrection from the dead, there is hope for all who place their faith in Him.


Moving Toward Action

Read the passage of Scripture from the Going Deeper section three times. As you read, read slowly and thoughtfully. As you read, praise God for the resurrection of Christ, the day that changed everything forever.


Going Deeper

John 20:1-31


1Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then they went home.

11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, 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.”

14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

16 “Mary!” Jesus said.

She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).

17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.