Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2009 – 13:51
Bible Book: John / Johannes
Chapter: 20
Verse: 1 – 18
Text: John 20:1-18

The author of the Gospel of John states in 20:30-31 that Jesus performed many “miraculous signs”. He described only a few of these in his gospel. While paging through the gospel to list these miraculous signs, it was particularly the context of this carefully selected group of miracles that struck me.

o The first two miracles that are described take place at Cana and in the nearby Capernaum: Jesus changes water into wine (2:7-11) and heals an official’s son (4:46b-54).
o Then another two miracles take place in Jerusalem: At a pool called Bethesda near the Sheep Gate Jesus cures a man who has been an invalid for the past 38 years (5:1-9), and after leaving the temple, He heals a man who has been blind since birth (9:1-7).
o Two more miracles take place at the Sea of Galilee: Jesus feeds five thousand people with five loaves of barley bread and two fish (6:10-14) and He walks on the water (6:16-21).
o The seventh miracle (described by John’s gospel) is performed in the graveyard: Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead (11:33-44).

Seven is often a perfect number in the Bible. Even so, the “pattern” created by two miracles within a specific environment raises the expectation that there will be another miraculous sign “among the graves”. And this is indeed what we get: Jesus Himself is raised from the grave. This last and most profound miracle of the gospel takes place inside the grave (20:1-18).

On Easter Sunday we will hear from pulpits all over that Jesus was resurrected and that He is alive. This message isn’t meant for the “safe environment” of churches only. Some congregations start Easter Sunday with a gathering in a graveyard. There, among the graves, the people are told that Jesus was resurrected and that He is alive.

The message that Jesus has been raised from the grave and is alive is not “out of place” among the graves. It is not “unknown” in situations of suffering and death. This is good news especially for people in a broken world where we are daily reminded of how vulnerable we are and how easily life can slip through our fingers: by violence, wars, HIV and AIDS – to name but a few.

In this situation we must remind ourselves and preach that Jesus has risen from the grave. He is alive. This is the wonderful message that sows the seed of true hope in our hearts and makes it grow there.

Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: Afrikaans