WHO IS IT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR? This is the question Jesus asked Mary on that magnificent Resurrection Morn. 2000 years later, this question still pierces us to the core. It should, because our answer can literally mean the difference between life and death.
John 20:1-18 records that unforgettable day. “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. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!'”
“So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.”
“Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying?'”
“'They have taken my Lord away,' she said, 'and I don’t know where they have put him.' At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus."
"He asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?'”
"Thinking he was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'”
"Jesus said to her, 'Mary.'"
"She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic,'“Rabboni!" (hrab-bon-ee' which means “Teacher”.)
"Jesus said, 'Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
“Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: 'I have seen the Lord!' And she told them that he had said these things to her.”
God Incarnate had just risen from the grave! But even though Jesus had preached to thousands and thousands, telling them He would save them from the penalty of their sins through His death and resurrection, they still didn't get it. The religious folks of the day believed that God’s word taught the resurrection of ALL Jews at the end time. The raising of Jesus from the dead just didn’t fit the timing they had come to believe and observe.
Like the religious folks of Jesus day, God’s timing just doesn’t fit our schedule, either. If we follow the precise appointment given by the Almighty in Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23 for the death and resurrection of Jesus, we absolutely cannot miss the fact that God appointed twilight on the 14th day of His first month as the anointed time when the Passover Lamb would mark the entrance to the homes of His Chosen People, protecting them from certain death. Using the observation method to determine the new month by watching for the new moon, that would place the death of Jesus between 3-5 pm, April 7 on our 2020 Gregorian calendar. https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/2883249525088551
When Jesus was raised from the dead, exactly 3 days and 3 nights later, He was brought forth as the first of the fruit of mankind to be raised from the dead, and never die again. Called "Firstfruits", this holy day festival, appointed by God on His calendar 1500 years before in Leviticus 23, was to begin on the morning of the 2nd day following Passover, the day after Sabbath. It was an offering of the first and best of the Earth's harvest. If the Almighty accepted this perfect offering, it would guarantee His blessing on His people. “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:20.
The 1st century Jewish historian, Josephus, pins down the date emphatically. "But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month, they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them." Antiquities of the Jews 3.10.5.
Jesus is further revealed as the Firstfruits offering when we examine the last part of Josephus' statement "for before that day they do not touch them." Remember Jesus's statement to Mary in the tomb? "Do not hold onto me, ("do not touch me" in some translations) for I have not yet ascended to the Father..." John 20:17
The 16th of Abib, April 10 on our 2020 Gregorian calendar, determined by watching for the new moon and counting forward 16 days, is the anniversary date appointed in God’s Word for the resurrection of the Son of God. If you celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter, you already use the lunar/solar dating that God established, but not as He appointed it. In 325AD, it was decreed by the Roman Council of Nicaea that Easter, a memorial of Christ’s resurrection, was to be celebrated on the Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox. That timeline is still used today, though Easter wasn’t celebrated in America until the 1870’s. In fact, in the beginning of our country, our Puritan fathers rejected this European custom, and continued to observe the Passover celebration every year after their arrival.
Today, we should ask ourselves some tough questions. Could it be that God Almighty has reckoned a true Passover on the world in 2020 through a plague of our own making to give us the opportunity to see that we have been in bondage to many gods in this world for far too long, and desperately need His deliverance in ways we had never even considered? https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/2874677592612411
Are we looking for Jesus this Resurrection Morn, or a version of Him we have created for ourselves...
"WHO IS IT THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR?"