Yet Another Reason For Joy

“When they heard that Jesus was alive
and that she had seen him,
they did not believe it.”
Mark 16:11 (NIV)

“The disciples were overjoyed
when they saw the Lord.”
John 20:20 (NIV)

I recall my mother using the expression, “You are a sight for sore eyes!” when greeting
a family member she had not seen for some time. Mom was expressing happiness at
finally coming into the presence of a loved one who had been sadly missed.

On the day our Lord left the tomb He made His first two resurrection appearances to
women. Thus, women were honoured by the Teacher and also they were the first to
share the good news with others. After the women had shared the good news with the
men, the men did not believe their report. So doubting Thomas was not the only one to
“doubt” verbal reports of the Master coming to life the third day.

The women received the news of the Master’s resurrection from the angels prior to
seeing Him. The men received the news of the resurrection from the women prior to
seeing their beloved Master. So, as the Good Shepherd begins to demonstrate His
victory over death, witnesses were the first testimony to the resurrection.

It becomes clear that for the first few times Jesus proved Himself alive He called for
faith before sight. And so it is that we must believe on the basis of credible witnesses
who first doubted until they saw the Lord for themselves. When they finally saw the
Master, they were overjoyed.

So it must be with us, seeing our Beloved Lord Jesus brings wonderful joy. But how do
we “see” the Lord Jesus in the 21st century? WE see Him on the glories of the world
around us. We see Him in the lives of godly Christians. We see Him in the hymns we
sing. We see Him in the sermons preached. We see Him in the words of Scripture. We
see Him in answered prayer.

Are you looking in the right places to see your glorious Bridegroom? Now that I have
made several suggestions of excellent places to find Him take a few moments and look
in several of these places and find the One who died and lives above, ruling over all
things for your ultimate good.

How sweet and awful is the place
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores!

Here every kindness of our God
With soft compassion rolls;
Here peace and pardon bought with blood
Is food for dying souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?

“Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?”

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God!
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.

We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May with one voice, and heart and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace.

Isaac Watts, 1707

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