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Message Text

John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 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!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 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?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Message Notes

1. We All Tell Stories

Details Details Details
What stories do you tell when the details get muddy?
Some of the details are painful, some are confusing, some are difficult.
*The devil is in the details, but God is telling the story
Don’t make an entire story out of one detail
Learn to separate the story from the details
It MATTERS which details you focus on

2. Understanding Doesn’t Precede Belief

John saw AND believed
The bible makes it clear that they do not understand
But UNDERSTANDING DOESN’T PRECEDE BELIEF
John saw the clothes IN THEIR PLACE and had a moment of faith
In confusion, EVERYTHING is out of place.
Instead of focusing on what is out of place focus on what is STILL IN ITS PLACE
God can reveal things to you that are still in their place (SUN, MOON, STARS)
Train our eyes to notice the things that are STILL IN PLACE

3. There’s Always More to The Story.

Jesus reveals himself to Mary
EVERYTHING CHANGES WHEN THE HEAVENLY FATHER SAYS YOUR FIRST NAME
Until God reveals himself we usually only have HALF THE STORY
God can reveal NEW DETAILS to us in CONFUSION
The tomb being empty was ONLY HALF OF THE STORY
Want a BETTER story? Ask God to reveal Himself to you
When you she was looking for him, he was waiting for her
When you go looking for Him, he’s already waiting for you

4. Swap Your Story For His Story

Mary swapped her story from “They have taken the Lord” to “I have seen the Lord”
It’s easier to swap stories in CONFUSION if you’ve already done it in the past. Mary had a history of swapping stories:

Luke 8:1-2
8 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;

Mary had traded being demon possessed 7x over for being completely
HEALED!

FOCUS ON THE RIGHT DETAILS
Even in confusion…
God is still moving
God can still reveal himself to you
You can still have faith (John believed) (Focus on the things that ARE in place)
You can still tell a good story (God’s telling the story of REDEMPTION)