It was soon time for Jesus to leave the earth. He knew he had to be careful how he breaks the news to his disciples. After all, the men had been with him for three years. Some have even walked away from their family and their livelihood. And Jesus had been their provider for the entire time. How could he leave them now? He had to have a good explanation, and he had to use tact.
So, after telling his disciples about his father’s mansion and that there was room for everybody, Jesus said, “You know the way to where I am going,” (John 14:4).
Then, a puzzled Thomas said to him:
“Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Pain and suffering are unavoidable obstacles Christians have to navigate through, as we attempt to walk the path of Jesus Christ. But you can rest assured that you are not alone in your experience. The One with the nail-scarred hands is always near. If you allowed Him, He would comfort you and teach you in your difficulty.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any problem with the support we receive from God.”(2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Everybody has at least one nagging thorn that keeps digging into your flesh. And you are longing to have it go away. But every time you petitioned your heavenly Father to remove it, your prayer seems to go unanswered.
Still yet, the thorn you carry around may be there to help remind you of who you are now and who you were before you met Christ.
Paul, the beloved and great apostle had a thorn that lingered throughout his Christian life. Here is what he wrote in his second Epistle to the Corinthians 12:7-9.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three timesthat it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
John 20:1-18 New International Version (NIV)
The Empty Tomb
20 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. 2 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!”
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 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.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 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.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 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.’”
18 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.