The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. (John 20:1 KJV)
Lots of people are not particularly enthused about Mondays because it is the first day of the working week. Even if you love your job the fact that your weekend is over can sometimes be quite depressing but only if the weekend was a good one.
Some of us are busier at weekends than during the weekdays. After a very eventful weekend, the last thing I want to do is wake up early on a Monday morning. And even if I have to, the last place I will want to go to is to the cemetery or the grave where my dream is buried. Not only is it a creepy place to go to, I will not want to be reminded about where my loved one, my dream and what I thought was my future is buried. I mean what is the use of that? I will rather forget about it.
So after a gruelling weekend of seeing her Lord and master being tortured and killed, after being witness to his decimation, and hearing the previously adoring crowd shouting, ‘crucify him!’, after seeing his body being thorn and bruised beyond recognition, after seeing the miracle worker, great teacher, sent from above subjected to a common criminal’s death, an embarrassing one at that, witnessed by many and mocked by many: if I were Mary Magdalene, I will not be seen anywhere near his grave especially not on the first day of a new week.
So what made her go there? What made her go to the place where dead things are? It was a reluctance to let go. A faithfulness and loyalty that disappointment and disillusionment could not curtail. A refusal to give in to the final verdict. She will rather wake up early to sit by her dead dream than to live without one because she knew that this dream was different. It was not meant to die. If it did then there must be more to the story than what she had witnessed.
Sometimes, we do not wait to see the real ending of what seems dead to us. If you truly handled it and are a witness to its efficacy, and it’s authenticity then you will not give up on it even when it appears dead.
If you are true to yourself, you will know when something in your life is above-board, is beyond ordinary and needs holding onto no matter the decimation it has been subjected to.
I am yet to see anyone throw away a £50 note because it is dirty or crumbled or wet or even torn. You will wake up early, go back to the rubbish bin where it was dumped. You will retrieve it and clean it up, repair it and use it. Because you know beyond all doubts what it’s value is.
This Jesus, this faith, this Christian life is worth going back to the graveside for. It is worth retrieving. Yes people have brought reproach to the name of Christ. People have done horrible things in the name of religion, but this one, this Jesus, this Christianity, we have tasted of it, we have handled it and it is different. It is no ordinary faith. It is authentic. It is valuable and it’s worth standing in each dead place were it has been defamed and buried and holding on to it until the end.
So that bishop has even found to be gay. That church has mis-appropriated your money. That mighty man or woman of God got divorced. If your faith has been affected, I want to tell you that seemingly dead or alive, Jesus is worth holding on to.
You know how the story went for Mary Magdalene. She was the first to see the resurrected Lord. She was the first to see the ‘authentic’ rise again. Because she was forgiven much, she loved much. Because she truly experienced it, nothing, not even obvious death on a cursed cross, could shut it down inside her.
Where are the Mary Magdalenes of our time? Come on. Let’s us prove to the world once again that:
‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full’. (1 John 1:1-4 KJV).
Jesus said: ‘And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’ (Luke 18:7, 8 KJV)
We shall be like Job. We will hold fast our faith and even when all is thrashed around us, we will say ‘For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth’: (Job 19:25 KJV).
My friend, don’t give up. Wake up! Stand by your dream! Till it is resurrected.
‘Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 11:25, 26 KJV)
Your vision, your dream shall Iive again.
‘But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you’. (Romans 8:11 KJV).