John 20 – Your Dream Present

If you could choose anything at all, what would you wish was in this present box?

John 20:1-31

Reference:  v.2  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!” (NIV Bible)

Explore:  Imagine I have a present in my hands.  It’s a nice big red box and it’s got a beautifully crafted ribbon on the top.  This present is for you!  If you could choose anything at all, what would you wish was in this present box?  I know I’d have a few dream gifts: some tickets for a holiday; a set of keys for a new car; a voucher for a new lounge suite.  All of those would certainly be appreciated if I opened up my present.  But imagine that you’re holding your present and you undo the ribbon on the top, you lift up the lid of the box, only to find that inside the box… it’s empty!  There is absolutely nothing inside and all you’ve been given is an empty box.  Pretty lousy present, heh?

Application:  When Mary was going to the tomb to prepare Jesus’ body, a couple of days after he had been crucified, she was not happy with what she found.  The tomb was empty.   Jesus’ body was nowhere to be found and she became very distressed as to where it could have been.  With everything that had happened to her much loved friend, now they couldn’t even find his body and the tomb was empty.  Could live get any worse for her?  And yet the empty tomb was the best present she could ever receive.  The empty tomb meant that Jesus had risen from the dead and that even death could not overpower the strength of God. 
Sometimes we look at our lives and it all feels like empty boxes – disappointment, pain, grief.  And yet we worship a God who is stronger than anything we have to go through.  When we have faith in God He can turn the devastation of an empty tomb into the best gift anyone could ever desire.

Prayer:  Lord, when life gets us down and everything feels like an empty box, may we draw close to You.  You are the giver of life, love and grace and You can turn our mourning into dancing.  Amen.

Do you feel grief, disappointment, stress or pain?  Ask God to reveal to you His glory in this difficult time.

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.