20:1 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. 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.”
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.
Be warned that the lesson from today may get a little personal. If it upsets you it is an indication that it's true. What you do about it is entirely up to you.
Yesterday my sister told an interesting life story. She was grateful because her husband went and stood in line early in the morning while it was still dark so he could sign her up for the desirable time slot for kindergarten next fall. Then she admitted that even though she really wanted that time slot she was completely unwilling to stand in line that early and for that long to get it.
We want but we are unwilling. We want renovations done but are unwilling to put in the time and sweat. We want a strong relationship with our children but we are unwilling to sacrifice the time and make the spaces in our lives. We want but...
Jesus said "You will search for Me and you will find Me when you search with all your heart." There is no such thing as getting without personal investment.
As a pastor I deal with my fair share of skeptics. Sometimes they come at me with what they think are unresolvable contradictions in the Bible which they conclude justifies throwing it out. I often wonder if they really think they are presenting some crack in the armour of Scripture that I have never seen or heard of and it is just going to deflate my whole world view. Most of the time the question itself betrays the fact they have never even studied the "problem" out themselves and are simply repeating the rants of some other skeptic.
Now before you think I'm either being too hard on skeptics or I have wandered way off topic please just follow this through.
The truth is the Bible is full of apparent contradictions. Nowhere is this more "problematic" than in the four accounts of Jesus life and ministry. For example here in John it seems Mary Magdalene went to the tomb alone but in Matthew's telling of it two women, Mary Magdalene and another Mary went together to the tomb.
Yet read today's passage carefully. Mary tells Peter and John that "they have taken Jesus away and WE do not know where they have laid Him." We? Apparently she wasn't alone, a detail that John almost completely left out. A detail you wouldn't catch reading the story quickly. "You will search for Me and you will find Me when you search with all your heart."
Frankly I find it makes the Bible more authentic when not all the insignificant details agree. When the police officer shot the young black man in Chicago all the police reports from all the officers at the scene matched perfectly. Witnesses at the scene also gave matching testimonies. Then recently the video of the actual event was released clearly showing the police reports and reports from witnesses were all carefully crafted to hide the fact that a police officer murdered the young man in the street without provocation or threat with 16 bullets. Agreement in every detail is more likely evidence of complicity rather than authentication of truth.
What the gospels all agree on and confirm is the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of the Man Jesus Christ. An event that makes His followers look bad both in their refusal to believe it would happen, their denial of even knowing Him while it was happening, and now their disbelief that He is anything more than a stolen corpse even though He said He would rise.
See the truth is that the Story from every angle tells the truth that we are all stubborn fools and skeptics, believing only what makes sense to us and shutting out the rest. What the Story from every angle also reveals with mega super ultra high definition (or whatever the latest TV offering is called) is that He loves us anyway.
Now will we pursue this Love or desire it but remain unwilling to "get off the couch"?