John 20:12 and The Easter Story
This is Easter week and soon we will be together to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord together through fellowship and communion.
Every year during this season I tend to think of a very minute portion of the Easter story that is usually insignificant to most retelling’s of the resurrection day. However, it speaks volumes to the glorious fact that it was because of Jesus’ resurrection that you and I have the forgiveness of our sins and the mercy of God toward us.
John 20:11 makes mention that Mary was outside the empty tomb of Jesus wailing in grief than John 20:12 tells that she looked inside and she sees “two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.”
You may question the depths of my theological well or think I am nuts, but that is my favorite Easter verse. Why? Because what Mary sees, and what John records, is very much a reminder of the promise that the Messiah would come and die for our sins.
It’s part of the Tabernacle’s Ark of the Covenant that God instructed for Moses to build in order to teach the plan of redemption to the children of Israel. The mercy seat is where the High Priest would sprinkle the blood of the annual corporate sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
Exodus 25:17-19 which says, “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.”
When John records the sight of angels at the head and at the feet, one can not negate the visualized promise of the Ark of the Covenant that at the mercy seat our sins are cleansed. It is in the resurrection of Jesus that His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross was proven true. If Jesus had failed to come forth from the tomb we would not either.
In John 11:43 Jesus said to Lazarus, who was dead in the tomb, “Lazarus, come forth” and he did. That authority shows that Jesus was not only the Creator but the Judge, and Jesus deemed that Lazarus was worthy to be resurrected. So how did Jesus come forth? Jesus would have come forth from the power within Him at the blessing of His Father in Heaven who deemed that Jesus was worthy to be resurrected — that is, Jesus successfully lived as the second Adam, sinless, and an accepted atonement for the sins of humanity.
The empty tomb became the same mercy seat where sins were forgiven as part of the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle through the wilderness, and in this account by John where are reminded that our forgiveness is sure because our Savior beat death!
It was at the mercy seat of the empty tomb that Christ shows His promise is true, His victory is certain, and His faith in the Father to bring Him forth to life!
This Resurrection Day, at CrossHope Chapel, we will celebrate this. We will come together and encourage one another that our Lord lives and that Jesus is our High Priest, that “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
We will come together and encourage one another that our Lord lives and that soon and very soon we shall hear the trumpet sound, the graves will give-up their dead, and the redeemed will declare, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).
We will come together this Sunday, April 4th, in simple Christian fellowship and a communion service with a 30-minute video clip of Amir Tsarfati, from Israel, on the Messiah and the Passover Seder, followed by a Honeybaked Ham potluck meal.