John 20:1-2 NLT
Early 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!”
I am a big fan of stillness, but recognise this is a preference not shared by all my friends. I imagine the stillness and tranquillity surrounding this account’s events; the calm that followed the storms of Holy Week. Into that calm Mary makes her way to the tomb, no doubt to pay respects to Jesus following the Sabbath. To her surprise and shock the grave stands open and empty. She immediately assumes that someone has stolen Jesus’ body. There were many who might find that convenient.
Mary’s humanity is wonderful. Like me, she immediately assumes the worst. When Jayne is delayed coming home, and I receive no text giving a reason, even though I have no reason to worry, I do! It seems we are wired to believe the worst and not the best. It also reveals how impoverished our listening and understanding are in practice. Jesus had carefully schooled his followers in both the purpose of his ministry, and its conclusion in his death and resurrection. Yet, how hard it is to hear and practise what we don’t comprehend. This surely lies at the heart of the mystery of our faith.
It’s so much easier to doubt, even deny, that which lies beyond our understanding. Yet, isn’t faith the very definition of the incomprehensible? Understanding means to “stand among”. We can build our life upon what we see, yet here the seeing is not through the lens of either logic or intellect. It is the raw conviction that God’s word is true and therefore by faith, sightless, I can depend upon it as surely as a blind person may rely upon their guide dog.
QUESTION: Do you need to understand in order for you to believe?
PRAYER: Lord, it isn’t always easy to believe in things I have never seen. Help me in those times to have faith.