WHO IS IT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR? This is the question Jesus asked Mary on that magnificent Resurrection Morn long ago. 2000 years later, He’s asking us the same question. 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 that 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 of the resurrection of ALL Jews at the end time. So 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 Angel of Death would "pass over" His chosen people. 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, March 31 on our 2018 Gregorian calendar. https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/1662394400507409
When Jesus was raised from the dead, exactly 3 days and 3 nights later, He was brought forth as the Firstfruits of mankind, also appointed by God on His calendar 1500 years before in Leviticus 23. The festival was to begin on the morning of the 2nd day following Passover, the day after Sabbath. It was a grain offering to the Lord 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 3rd on our 2018 Gregorian calendar, is the anniversary date appointed in God’s Word for the resurrection of the Son of God!
So if all this sounds too Jewish, and God’s calendar is not something you think is applicable in today’s world, consider this. 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 our nation's straying from God's Word has been going on a lot longer than we think, and is now so deeply entrenched in our society and religion that we don't even notice it? Are we truly looking to Jesus, our Passover Lamb, to cover us with His blood sacrifice so that we will no longer be naked in our sin, but clothed in His righteousness? Or are we now looking to a "New and Improved Jesus", who is able and willing to deliver us to heavenly heights, fully clothed in the worldly garb we just can't bear to leave behind?
"Who is it that you are looking for?"