When everything seems lost

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?” John 20:10-13

Joel C. Seifert

There was something that seemed desperate in Mary’s actions. Jesus—the one she followed as her Lord and Savior—was dead. She went to anoint his body in a tomb she knew she couldn’t open. And now that the tomb was empty, she began to search for his corpse. What was she hoping to accomplish?

Faith goes to Jesus, even when all seems lost

Over the years I’ve met many people who say, “I used to be a Christian, but . . .” They tell stories of how they were raised to believe in Jesus and the Bible and God’s love, but then faith let them down. They lost their job, and with their job their home, and with their home, their marriage. So they stopped saying, “I am a Christian,” and started saying, “I was a Christian.” Faith didn’t seem to matter anymore, so they stopped going to Jesus. It’s an awful trick of the devil: At the times we need Jesus most, it’s hardest to go to him.

I don’t know what Mary expected to happen. I think she just remembered what had happened. She was a lost soul; Jesus found her. So in his life and now in his death, Mary only wanted one thing: She wanted to be near Jesus, even if all seemed lost.

That’s where Jesus finds us. Things may seem pointless. You might not have any idea what kind of help you’ll find. Maybe you’re just going back to church or your Bible because once upon a time, it gave you hope, even if nothing seems to matter now. But when you’re near him, Christ finds you and shows you that he still loves you, lives for you, and calls you by name.

When faith goes to Jesus, he uses us to reach the lost

God gave Mary one of the most important tasks in the history of the world: She was one of the first people to ever tell anyone that Jesus rose from the dead. That’s important! Do you know what she did after that? I don’t either. Read through everything the Bible says about this important woman, and all you get is this: She wanted to be where Jesus was. So when he was preaching, she listened. When he was in need, she gave him her gifts. When she saw her living Savior, she told others about him.

That’s the importance you have too. When you’re there listening to Jesus’ Word, that’s important. You’re not just strengthening yourself; you’re encouraging and strengthening others. When you give your offerings to help keep his message sounding in the world, that’s important. People will hear the gospel because of you. When you tell others about Jesus, you become one of the most important people in the world to them.

Most people won’t list Mary side by side with Peter and Paul and James and John as one of the most important people in the Bible, and maybe there aren’t many people who will look at you that way either. But Jesus does. And no matter where you go with him in faith, he makes you important to others.


Contributing editor Joel Seifert is pastor at Beautiful Savior, Marietta, Georgia.


 

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Author: Joel C. Seifert
Volume 105, Number 7
Issue: July 2018

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