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Monday, March 31, 2008

Saw, Saw or Saw?

Last week I was telling you about a sermon that we heard at my parent's church over Easter. The preacher was really great and his sermon was awesome! He was shuckin' corn... remember? Hee hee! Here is another great point from that sermon.



He preached on John 20. This is what it says:


"NOW on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
Jhn 20:2
Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."
Jhn 20:3
Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.
Jhn 20:4
So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first.
Jhn 20:5
And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.
Jhn 20:6
Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,
Jhn 20:7
and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.
Jhn 20:8
Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.
Jhn 20:9
For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead."




In verse 1 it says that Mary went to the tomb and "saw" that the stone had been rolled away.

In verse 5 it says that Peter went and looked in and "saw" the linen cloths lying there.

In verse 8 it says that the other disciple (John) went to in and he "saw" and believed.



Three different people went to the tomb that day and three different people did basically the same thing. They saw.



Insert a personal story: One day, this past summer, I was driving to my mom and dad's house in Columbia. It was raining cats and dogs and it was really scary to be driving on the interstate with a little one in the car. I was driving along looking intently at the road and really trying to concentrate when I saw a bird in the top of a tree. It was BIG! Like a vulture or something kind of big! Well, I noticed that he was taking flight and headed for the median. Thinking that he was going to fly behind my car, I just quickly glanced at him and kept driving. About that time WHAM! That huge bird hit my windshield!!!!!!! It scared the life out of me!! I remember calling my dad just to say that a huge bird hit my car!! It was gross! It was black and had long ugly feet. It bounced off of my car and into the road. I was terrorized for a few minutes as I tried to keep it together and not just CRY!



I saw the bird in a glance not thinking much of it... it had no real impact on me as long as it remained in the top of the tree. I looked intently at the road and studied it in order to have the information that I needed to be safe, but when that bird hit my car... OH! I KNEW... I fully believed that what they say about driving on the interstate is true... You never know what will happen and you have to be careful and alert at all times! I was a believer!!



The three "saw"s in scripture are three different words in the Greek.

Mary's "saw" means to see something quickly or at a glance.

Peter's "saw" means to look analytically or examine

John's "saw" means to see and place trust into what you see.



"While three people saw the empty tomb that day," the pastor explained, "John was actually the first witness of the resurrection because he saw and he believed. It changed him and he would never be the same because he knew that Jesus was the risen Christ, just as He said."



The example of the bird is a little lame, but it made an impact on me. It was not until I came into actual contact with it that I fully saw how big it was. I saw it's colors and it's feet. I saw it's beak and realized the damage that it could have done. I realized the seriousness of the situation after it hit me too. It could have caused an accident that day that could have impacted my life. Thank the Lord He was with us and protected us.



John's experience with the empty tomb was similar. He saw it as he approached the tomb. He even saw two other people who had been in the tomb, but it was not until he went in himself and saw the evidence that he believed and allowed it to impact his life for eternity. He realized at that moment that Jesus was who He said He was and he believed that Jesus' death had changed him.



My retelling of the bird story is probably a little funny to you, and actually looking back on it it makes me laugh out loud! It means something different to me though because I experienced it! John's encounter with the empty tomb also meant something different to him than it could ever mean to anyone just reading the account, and our encounter with Jesus is the same. We can and SHOULD tell people about His impact on our lives, but it isn't until they experience Him for themselves that the Lord really changes who they are. We must pray for those that we know are lost. The fact that they have never known forgiveness and love and compassion like that of Jesus is so sad to me. This world is crying to believe in something that is real and life changing.



Do they SEE Jesus in us?

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