Devotions
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June 4, 2017, 5:00 AM

In what broken relationship are you clinging to the hope that it will return to the way it was before the offense occurred?


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!” (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.’” John 20:13-17

 

Jesus had a unique way of turning our world upside down. He never did things according to the book. He had little regard for our expectations of how things should be.  The crowds who flocked to Jesus were hopeful this was “the one.” This man from Bethlehem was going to overthrow the oppressive Roman government and lead them towards freedom. Jesus had different plans.  Yes, they involved freeing those who were imprisoned, but He died to overthrow the power sin had on our lives. The crowd desired insurrection. Jesus was focused on a resurrection.

 

This explains Jesus’ seemingly odd comment to Mary outside of the tomb. There was no possible way to go back to the way things once were. He had conquered death so we might live. The old system had been replaced by something new, something better.  Why revert back to a system of self-performance that could never meet the requirements for the life we desired?  The essence of what God has done through Jesus is what allows us to be forgiven and therefore free to forgive. His death brought us life.

 

We have a built-in longing to make things right. This is why we gravitate towards forgiveness. In our minds, we believe forgiveness can pave the way to how things were before the offense occurred. Yet, no matter how hard we try, things are never going back to the way it once was.  Forgiveness requires a death. For forgiveness to be felt something has to die. In order to see God’s way, our way has to die.  God’s way is the way of resurrection.  Letting go of events, relationships, hopes and dreams that we grasped onto so tightly is no easy task.

 

Unforgiveness has the power to shape our perspective, influence our words and actions and define our identity. This process of forgiveness means our pride, bitterness; anger and entitlement must die as well. As we loosen our grip, we must trust that God is up to something we are incapable of doing on our own. God takes the bad things that have occurred in our lives and redeems them for His good purposes. In God’s economy, death is not the end, but a way of resurrection. We have been created to live a life that has been resurrected. We have been called to live in relationships that are fueled by resurrection.

 

In what broken relationship are you clinging to the hope that it will return to the way it was before the offense occurred?  What causes you to hesitate in letting go of the hope that things will return to the way they once were?  What has to die so you can experience a resurrection in this relationship?

 

This is my Prayer:  Father God, when I encountered Your love my world was turned upside down. Lord may I be reminded of Your great love when I hold on to past hurt and pain. Jesus let me trust in Your redemption.  May You be glorified by my response to forgive as I’ve been forgiven. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.


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