Sunday, April 08, 2012

Devotional: Now Run And Tell That!

By: Min. Angela Lee Price
Scripture: John 20:1, 10-17
"Jesus said, 'Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (v17 NIV).

Six women in the New Testament had the name Mary. One of them was from a northern city called Magdala in Galilee. Mary Magdalene became a follower of Jesus early in his ministry after he healed her of seven demons (Luke 8.2). I don’t know if her head spun around like Linda Blair in the movie, The Exorcist, or if she cut herself violently like the Gadarene demoniac, but one thing is for sure she was eternally grateful when Jesus freed her from her affliction so much so, that she left everything to follow Him. She became a friend, supporter, traveling companion, and disciple. When all the disciples abandoned Jesus during his crucifixion, Mary Magdalene stayed there, along with the other women. On the morning of the resurrection, Mary and some other women including Mary the mother of James and Joseph went to anoint to body of Jesus, but found the tomb empty (Matt. 28:1-5; John 20:1). She ran and got James and John, and after they had left, she met the risen Jesus.

Some Gnostic writings would have you to believe that Jesus married Mary Magdalene. Dan Brown in the DaVinci Code goes so far as to claim that they even had a baby together. However, there is no evidence to prove this in Scripture. Evidence indicates that Jesus and Mary had a unique relationship, one of Teacher and disciple. It was unique in that women were not permitted to study the Law. Jesus broke all the rules where women were concerned. He risked being considered unclean for associating with them. And for a Rabbi to associate in any way with a woman once possessed with evil spirits was unheard of in his culture.

Jesus called Mary to a pivotal assignment at the tomb on Resurrection Morning. He could have told her to go and play with the children since that’s “woman’s work,” or go and pray since women “know how to get a prayer through,” or go and stay quiet since women “should keep quiet in the church,” but he didn’t. He said to her, “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” In other words, Now run and tell that!

Somebody needs to know that He is risen! Regardless of the situation, there is hope in Jesus Christ. He’s a heart fixer, a mind regulator, a burden bearer, and heavy load sharer! Somebody needs to put on some jogging shoes today and run and tell that!

What is it that we must do if we are to effect change in our society and bring more people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? We must...

Start early
1. “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.” If you want to make a discovery about who Jesus is, get a jumpstart while it is still dark. Start early.

Stay fit
2. If you are going to be a trailblazer for Jesus, you must stay fit. To run for Jesus requires that you have strength, stamina, courage and conviction. Mary Magdalene didn’t just begin running for Jesus in verse 17, she began running for him soon after He cured her of seven demons (Luke 8:3). The race is not to the swift, but to those who endure to the end. Stay fit.

Stay late
3. The bible says, "Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying…. " (v11). She stayed late. In this severe economic crisis, many people are turning to God. However, many are not participating and partnering with God. Like the disciples, in running to look in the tomb and leaving, many people come to church, look in and leave early. Some come to see what they can see and, and others come to get what they can get. Mary Magdalene stayed late. She went beyond the call of duty and tried to tend to the things of God. If you want to hear from God in a direct and profound way, do what Mary did and stay late.

To run and tell that, not only must you start early, stay fit, stay late, but you must…

Stick with it.
4. The angels asked, "Woman, why are you crying?" She told them, "They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put him." She was so concerned about finding Jesus that she threw protocol and formality out the window. She didn’t say, "My name is Mary, and you are? What you doing just sitting in the tomb in all that white?” None of that. She was so busy sticking to the task of searching for Jesus, that the presence of the angels was the least of her concerns. The bible tells us, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 2 Tim 2:15. Stick with it.

And finally, you must...

5. Stride Wide
Jesus told Mary, "Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (v17). In Matthew 28:18-19, Jesus told the disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost;..." The operative word here is "Go." Go to your brothers and sisters who have lost sight of Jesus. Go to those who need to know who Jesus is. Go to every body and tell them about the goodness of the Lord. Tell them Jesus is risen! Tell them Jesus saves! Now run and tell that!

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Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!


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