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the-resurrection-of-christ_Paolo Veronese_1570

The-Resurrection of Christ, Paolo Veronese, c.1570

Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag′dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. John 20:1-9

John’s Gospel account of the morning of Christ’s resurrection tells of Peter and John “running” to see the tomb. ”For as yet, they did not know” that Jesus would rise from the dead. Their emotions had gone from disbelief, to anguish, despair and utter discouragement. Jesus had died. Everything they had experienced with Jesus over the last three years had ended.

When Mary Magdalene saw the empty tomb, she ran to tell Peter and John. Despite their doubts, Mary’s story raised their hopes. They ran to the tomb to see if Jesus had risen. They wanted to know if Jesus had the power to overcome his own death just three days earlier. When they saw the empty tomb, they “believed.”

If you are experiencing difficulty in your marriage, you too can feel disbelief, to anguish, despair and discouragement. You witness the death of a relationship that was once full of hope and joy. You may doubt the power of Jesus to raise your marriage from the dead. You may doubt that Jesus can heal all your hurts and bring joy out of your suffering. You may doubt that Jesus cares for you. You may doubt, you may doubt, you may doubt.

John’s Gospel account of the resurrection should inspire you to run to Jesus with all your cares and concerns. Run and see if Jesus is dead or alive. Run and see if Jesus has power, if He loves you, and if His grace has the power to overcome every problem and disappointment in your life. If you run to Jesus, just like Peter and John, you will find that Jesus indeed has the power to overcome every obstacle in life, including raising your marriage from the dead!

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.” John 20:19-22, 24-25

On night of His resurrection, Jesus visited the apostles. He gave them His peace and showed them His wounds. Then He “breathed” on them to receive the Holy Spirit. They were filled with renewed faith and overwhelming joy. Thomas, absent from this encounter, doubted its authenticity. How often we are like Thomas, doubting the power of God to perform miraculous signs and wonders.

Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” John 20:24-29

Jesus told Thomas to “stop doubting and believe.” Thomas saw and said, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus’ Word to you today is “stop doubting and believe!” Although you have not seen Him, special blessings are given to those who believe. As the Body of Christ, we have not seen yet believe. We believe that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins and has risen from the dead. We believe that He is Lord, that He sent the Holy Spirit to help and guide us, and that He will come again in glory.

When you follow the example of Peter and John, running to Jesus, you will find the risen Lord in all His power and glory. He will remove your doubts and fears. He will give you peace. He will renew your faith and joy.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Our prayer is that you will experience the Lord in a new way through His passion, death and glorious resurrection. We pray that He will bless you abundantly and increase your faith in Him. May He raise your marriage from the tomb of brokenness and restore your home. May His peace be with you now and always!

…the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

God bless you, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ. May the joy of the Resurrection fill your hearts now and always.