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Holding on to Jesus - Then and Now

This past Sunday, we looked at Mary Magdalene, the first to see the resurrected Jesus on Easter morning (John 20:14). When she eventually recognized Him, she tried to hold onto Him. I suppose many of us would have done the same. But Jesus said, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.” (John 20:17-18).

I believe Jesus understood that May was wanting what she could not have – for things just to be the way they once were. But He had something better for her – a new and bright hope and an eternal relationship – one that would survive the present life. Rather than hold on to the past, He wanted her to go forward in hope, and sharing it with others.

We too can benefit from this perspective and the message Jesus relayed to Mary. We should:

  • Let go – of the past and of all that is holding us back from going forward with Jesus.

  • Look up – to see what God is doing here in the moment, resurrecting hope for those who know Him.

  • Let others know – of the hope He has given us and offers to all who would trust in Him.

After the resurrection, Mary and other followers of Jesus may have wondered, “When will we get back to normal?” Jesus words, however, conveyed that there was now to be a “new normal.”

I think the same is true for us in this time – there will be a new normal after the virus. We may lose some things we liked, but we can also latch on to some things we need – time with God, appreciation for family and fellowship, and a chance to “reset” our priorities and schedules to make time for what matters most. In that sense, the future can be even brighter than the past, if we embrace God’s plan.

Times of change yield both challenge and opportunity. The key is how we respond. As some have said, we can either curse the darkness or light a candle. We may not be in control, but neither are we helpless. With God’s help, we can do more than just survive. We can join Him in all He is doing and thrive. Such is the hope we have in the resurrected Jesus, the Lord of life, and the Prince of peace.

Be blessed, my friends. Put your hope in God.

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