The gospel writers tell the resurrection story through the eyes of a small handful of faithful disciples, mainly women. It is a moving and very human story - they can hardly believe their eyes after all the grief of the crucifixion.

Matthew speaks of Mary Magdalene “and the other Mary” while Mark is in a hurry and only mentions Mary Magdalene. Luke is analytical and describes them as the women who had followed him from Galilee, but John focuses on Mary Magdalene and she quickly brings in Peter and himself, the author. They have a different focus in telling their story but the accounts fit well together. John in particular wants to show how Jesus’ priority on resurrection morning was to meet his closest friends and help them process what had happened!

The resurrection is not just an event in history, it is the most significant event. If there was no resurrection then our faith is futile, we are still stuck in sin and we are to be pitied, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15. Jesus’ death and resurrection make it possible for us to have forgiveness, salvation … LIFE!
This is literally cosmic - the whole universe and everything in it will be reconciled to God, Paul says in Colossians 1:20, though any who refuse His offer of new life will count themselves out of that wonderful reconciliation. God is not just renewing individuals but bringing in a new creation, with a new community of people who respond to Him to fulfil what He always intended from the start. The resurrection is not just the beginning of salvation for all who accept, it is far more: the beginning of a new creation!

The Lord of Lords, Jesus who is now on the throne in heaven, will reign there until all enemies are brought into submission, through His people exercising their authority in prayer and righteous lifestyles. Heaven will literally come down to earth, completing the reconciliation achieved at the Cross, then Jesus will return in glory as Judge.

But against this amazing, cosmic backdrop, Jesus made a priority of being with His friends on earth before ascending to heaven.

Knowing the end of the story, we can miss just how devastating Jesus’ death was for the disciples. Confused, in shock and traumatised, they were like the victims of war - whether made homeless or physically wounded or emotionally wounded, victims suffer more than most of us can imagine.
Gently, kindly, patiently Jesus explains again what He told them in advance. He even takes time to eat with them! He restores Peter and gives Thomas the opportunity to check the facts and process it all, so he can commit afresh to following Jesus.

The Lord of all cares about the reconciliation of the entire cosmos. He also cares about the little details in every person’s life.  His love encompasses everyone. So He shows His love in various ways to Mary and Peter and Thomas and …. you and me.

What a Saviour! Let’s worship Him this Easter!

- Chris Horton
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