Glorious Resurrection Day: He’s Already Up

The glorious appearance of Christ Jesus to Mary Magdalene in the Gospel of John is the consummate show stealer. All else pales in the glimpse of His beautiful face, rinsed of blood and flushed with fresh life.

She’s sobbing. The hole that the loss of Jesus would cause in a life would be unlike any other. Incomparable. A canyon carved out of granite earth. A bottomless pit. A soul’s abyss. His words, “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you” in Hebrews 13:5 relieve us of the most horrific prospect in the human experience: the loss of Jesus. But the woman in this scene got to feel it and, in this terrifying state, nothing of value – no one of value – was recognizable to her.

Deeply moved, He puts His loved one out of her misery.

“Mary,” He says.

“Rabboni!”

And she grabs onto Him for dear life until He has to peel her off His Person to send her forth with the news that changes everything.

But right there in the very first verse is a piece of information that captures my imagination over and over.

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.” (John 20:1)

Look at it one more time. How early?

“While it was still dark.”

Really, does it get any earlier than while it is still dark? And He was already up. Already alive. Already raised.

“While it was still dark” was too late to catch Christ in the tomb. She’d overslept the divine alarm.

Doesn’t it touch you that the Father did not wait till dawn? For Scripture to be perfectly and vividly fulfilled, Christ had to be raised on the third day. Isn’t there treasure in the realization that the One and only Father of this One and only Son did not even wait until the sun peeked over the horizon? If it was still dark when Mary found the tomb empty, what unthinkable time must God have raised Him from the dead?

I don’t know. Call me sentimental but I wonder if the Father, patient and long-suffering through the ages, that one particular hour could not bring Himself to wait another minute. After all, He’d been up all night – Blessed and Wide-Eyed Insomniac – while those who could sleep slept. And He’d waited. And waited. And waited. We earthlings have few greater challenges than waiting. Wouldn’t you say? And, as people of faith, our longest waiting can be, in particular, waiting upon the Lord. As one of my mentors used to say, “God is never late but He misses a few good opportunities to be early.”

Except, notably, on this particular Sunday morning.

Well, I wonder if perhaps that late Saturday night, God Himself grew anxious waiting upon the Lord. And maybe He watched the clock just long enough for the hour to qualify as morning. And way before dawn, when it was pitch black outside, when the earth seemed without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep, God spoke. Maybe something close to this…

“Arise, my Son. My one and only Son, Whom I Love. In whom I am well pleased. up with You! Rise!”

 

“While it was still dark outside.”

 

And God said “Let there be Light.”

 

And there was.

 

“The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God…for God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:4b,6)

This morning when I got up to publish this post for you, it was like pitch outside and so very still and the full moon shown like it was proud of itself. And it made me think. Only the moon was up that morning when God brought up the Son.

“They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)

Happy, happy Resurrection Sunday, my beloved Sisters! There is no day on our calendar like this day. It was without competition, the Father’s best day. As 365 days fly by on the annual calendar, this one is His favorite. Dance it away from dawn till dusk. Worship Him, study Him, seek Him, feast before Him, laugh before Him, hug the people you love before Him, kiss and cuddle those babies before Him, eat dessert before Him, hide eggs before Him, LIVE this whole day before Him. In Him, Through Him. With Him. Dance in the crowd of angels toasting. All emptiness is swallowed whole. He is our fullness. Celebrate this Day! He won it for you. Live it with all the life you have! Give those who know you but do not know Christ a glimpse of abundance alive and spinning in human flesh. Have a festival of praise. Death has lost its sting!

Pat that yawn away. Wash the sleep from your eyes. For no matter how early you got out of bed this morning, one thing is certain.

He was already up.

 

 

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142 Responses to “Glorious Resurrection Day: He’s Already Up”

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  1. 51
    Mirra says:

    How appropriate that He arose in the dark, for He is the light of the world. He finds me when I try to retreat to dark places and lightens my life!
    Thank you, Beth, for your insight.May the Lord bless you in a special way this day.

  2. 52
    Margie by the Sea says:

    Amen!
    And, thank you, Beth.

  3. 53

    I loved this. Thank you for sharing and so vividly painting a picture of the display between Mary and Christ.

    I hope you (and the fam) had an abundant day before your Risen King this Sunday.

    He is so worthy.

  4. 54
    Kim says:

    Thank you so much, Beth, for this post! What a blessing!

  5. 55
    Andi Wernke says:

    This was such a blessing to my day. Thoughts I had never considered before. Thank you for this!! Praise you Jesus!!

  6. 56
    liz says:

    Beth,
    I wonder how many of us read that chapter in John today? I think someday we will all have a huge bible study together in Heaven. What struck me was verse John 20:17
    ‘ I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
    The separation is gone he is our Father now!

  7. 57

    Thank you for this… what a special way to see it!

  8. 58
    Joyce Watson says:

    Hope you have a Blessed Easter, Beth! I am so wonderful grateful for Salvation and the freedom it brings into my life. Thankful that Jesus is our Counselor, our Comforter, our Forgiver, and our Friend.
    Thankful that He keeps us in the palm of His hands!

  9. 59
    Lauren says:

    Love this! While it was still dark…

  10. 60
    Martha says:

    Love this post Beth!! Hope you have had a glorious Easter Day surrounded by those you love!!

  11. 61

    Beth, this is beautiful. My husband and I went to a beautiful sunrise service at the California Mission that is in our town…we stood under the light of the beautiful full moon at 5:45 and I thanked God for His amazing Son and His amazing gift to us through Jesus. The simple service as day broke was the perfect beginning to our day. We then attended a joyful service at our home church and spent the rest of the day just as you prescribed here. I am so thankful.

  12. 62
    Mary Watkins says:

    What a glorious day! Mercy conquered death. Because of God’s love for us heaven’s gates are open wide.

  13. 63
    Debbie says:

    What a beautiful story to finish this wonderful Easter with!

  14. 64
    Kathleen Akridge says:

    PRAISE THE LORD!!! I Love it!!

    Also, I asked my husband last night: “Do you think it was sunrise or was it still dark when the Lord raised Jesus from the dead?” How good God is to answer even our little wonderings and questions!

    He is risen, He is risen INDEED!!! Hallelujah!!

  15. 65
    Emilee C. says:

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you Beth for sharing the Word God had laid on your heart. It might not have been easy to do, but it was worth it! 🙂 We will be praying for you as you prepare for Kansas City this weekend! We CAN’T WAIT to worship with you, Travis, and our other siestas! Our group will contain about 6 junior high/high school girls with their mothers! {I am one of the junior highers :)} But before this weekend a group of ladies will be closing up the final session of Believing God. We are making our faith a verb! 🙂 See you this weekend!

  16. 66
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Love it. The moon was just bidding us adieu when I scraped – or, rather, SCRAPED my truck’s windshield of thick ice. Yesterday we broke a 56 yr. record for snowfall. It snowed all-day-long. I stayed up til midnight to see if snow was still falling – and it was. I loved that all day on Holy Saturday – the one full 24 hour day that Jesus was dead – that we had a sky filled with snowflakes. Kept thinking of Isaiah 1:18 “…though your sins be as scarlet, they will be white as snow…” Even though we’re just itching to see some green up yonder, I think snow was the most perfect Holy Saturday gift.

    Driving on my way to sunrise service at the base of a favorite mountain pass, the moon grazed the horizon – perfectly round, perfectly orange. And then to get there and see hundreds of us (and we live in a mostly rural area) donning winter coats, hats and gloves to celebrate the fact that death did lose its sting. And Jesus is alive.

    What an awesome day. What an awesome God.

  17. 67
    Jg says:

    I was thinking yesterday how it must have felt for God and His Son, Jesus to be together once again. Not only had God sent Jesus to be born on earth….and the years of Christ’s earthly life……but then the separation prior to Christ’s death and resurrection. I wondered how that scene might have looked. Father and Son together…….what rejoicing. It was such a blessing to be in services today and to share in the glory of His resurrection……thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.

  18. 68
    Diana A. says:

    Thank you JESUS!!!

    OHHHH Glorious Day!!

    Praise the Father, Praise the Son, Praise the Holy Spirit!

    Amen 🙂

  19. 69
    Carm says:

    This is so beautiful, thank you for writting it. I never thought of the glorious resurection in this way, it has surely blessed me.

  20. 70
    Lisa says:

    AWSOME!!!!post. I loved it I never thought of it this way, but I will from now on.

  21. 71
    Tracey Knight says:

    beth, i do believe this is my favorite post of yours EVER. that says a lot, friend.
    and here’s what else is true… on this monday morning – while it’s still dark – He is still already up. that’s plenty of reason to get up & go out with hope today.
    love you~

  22. 72
    Laura says:

    Glory to God in the HIghest! He was already up and probably so excited waiting on Mary to come so He could show her his glory!!!

    Thank you for putting this excitement in words we can use every day.

  23. 73
    Jennifer says:

    How do you do it Dear Beth?

    Surely I know the answer, God speaks through you. As your words capture the exact essence of the feeling that warms my soul and feeds my spirit. GOD BLESS you and your sweet family!

    I wrote on my facebook page. Happy Son Rise Day! I am in awe at how obvious this is God’s world and how hidden that truth can be.
    We moved to Wisconsin last summer and I have been Church shopping. I never knew it would be this hard. I found a womens church group last week that I attended. When I drove into the church parking lot I wanted to weep as I knew I had found the “one”. The women were amazing. Beth, you will find this humorous, when I went inside their bathroom there was a posterboard of you on the counter advertising a women’s retreat they were having and would revolve around one of your DVD teachings. My mentor! I have found my Church as I know this was literally a “sign”. Again I held back the tears as I don’t want to scare off my new Christian sisters!!

    We celebrated our Resurrection Day at this new Church and surely it was no accident that God planned it this way….and boy do I agree with your statement about waiting on God. “Seek and you shall find.” Was the verse in Matthew that kept me going.

    I rejoice thinking that God was as giddy and excited as we get during our Earthly celebrations as He went to bring His Son home with Him!!

    Love,
    Jennifer

  24. 74
    Rhonda says:

    I never thought of it like that. It gives me chills!!!

  25. 75
    Larci Conner says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share with us, this Resurrection Sunday! What a marvelous day it was for my family. My brother, lost on the streets and homeless for eight years, returned home, sobered up from alcohol addiction and accepted Jesus as His Savior! We danced and worshiped Jesus, not only for His resurrection, but for making all things new and bringing home our lost loved one! Truly a miracle. I will see you in 4 days in Kansas City. I am brimming with excitement to worship our King together and to be drenched in the Word, spoken through you, Beth. I am praying for you and your team as you gather in Kansas City. It will be my 5th Living Proof Live and my 21 year old daughter’s 2nd time. See you soon, sister!

    • 75.1
      Jennifer D. says:

      Larci,
      We too are so looking forward to Kansas City!! Thank you for sharing about your brother! My brother has just relapsed and it is sooooo good to hear that there is hope!
      A Kansas Siesta

  26. 76
    Jennifer D. says:

    Beth,
    You are such a blessing! It is funny that you mentioned dancing because during worship yesterday, I felt like DANCING. You could feel His presence in our church and He taught me again, the glorious lesson that ONLY HE could go to the tomb of death and bring LIFE. It was a holy moment.

    THEN, I went to my mom’s home for Easter and discovered that my brother has relapsed AGAIN. He is only 23, but we have watched him battled this since 15 and prayed as he has entered two treatment programs. I thought that after 6 months in jail and finding a very good job (great pay, insurance, retirement, and travel that I thought kept him away from the temptations) that he had moved past the demons. Heartbreakingly, meth has consumed him – again.

    Yesterday, while driving my hour home, I wished that we could visit. I have been so blessed and inspired by your sister’s story. My family has been ravaged by addiction – my dad died from it. I am studying your daily devotion of Jesus the One and Only and the other day the question was what about Jesus is a mystery to me. My heart wants to know WHY my dear loved ones keep returning to the destruction of addiction. My two year old ADORES this uncle and couldn’t understand where he was yesterday.

    My question is as a sister of an addict, how did you enjoy life, when addiction was stealing hers? I know that you are very busy and preparing for Living Proof Live – Kansas. My mom and I will be there. I so despartely want life for my brother! He was the first baby I ever held and captured my heart from the moment we met.

    It is so frustrating that my day went from feeling like dancing to crying.

    As always, thank you for this community – what a blessing to be able to reach out to other sisters instead of sinking into despair!

    • 76.1
      Tracey Knight says:

      jennifer, praying that God will speak to your heart this weekend as only He can. be listening, sister.

      • Jennifer D. says:

        Tracey,
        Thank you so much! I so looking forward to time before Him.
        I love this community!
        Blessings to you!

  27. 77
    Julie says:

    What an awesome post Beth! While it was still dark. He couldn’t wait until dawn! Love it! See you in Kansas City!!! And we are soooooo excited!

  28. 78
    April Jones says:

    I am so thankful that He is always up before and after me! He is risen! He IS alive! The One the Only – My One and My Only!

    The love to it took to do what He did for me is unfathomable! Why oh why, do I let the noise of this life distract me from the reality of His love and plan for me?

    Thank you for posting this – it was a blessing to read.

    April

  29. 79
    Cheryl Hinerman says:

    Amen!

  30. 80
    Dana says:

    Amen. Beautiful words spoken over the Truth of Scripture.

    Thank you!

  31. 81
    dawn says:

    I absolutely love this post! Thank you Lord for the Holy Spirits words in this post. Praise you Lord!

  32. 82

    What a beautiful post! It’s Monday morning as I read it. I didn’t have time to get on the computer at all yesterday. Up at 5:00 to get ready to be at our sunrise service at 7:00. Church breakfast at 8:00. Teach Sunday school at 10:00, worship service at 11:00,our kids and grandkids over for lunch at 1:30 and hiding eggs and playing and visiting until 6:00 p.m…….needless to say this Granmamma was pooped and ready for bed at 8:30! ha

    Our Pastor preached on the very thing you wrote about. Mary and her visit to the empty tomb. And in my early morning devotion time this morning I read from Psalm 27:14…”Wait on the Lord…” Which all ties into your post. I have been praying specifically for the past week that God would “reveal hidden things that need to be brought out in the open”. I believe He is soon going to do this but He wants me to WAIT on Him to do it so that I will in no way be involved and all will be able to see that GOD has done the revealing.

    God bless you dear Beth in all you do for our Lord!

    Marilyn…in Mississippi

  33. 83
    Dee Dee says:

    I’ve often wondered what time Jesus was raised. Was it 12:01am or why do even focus on sunrise that particular day? Thanks for your post I appreciated your points.

  34. 84
    Molly Siesta OC says:

    Love ya Beth!

    I was thinking as I started reading that post, GOD put on my heart. While it was still dark, that is when HE is in the place to hear you, while it was still dark, that is when we need to respond. Not just early in the morning, but in the dark seasons of our life. When the enemy makes your feelings feel dark, arise, while it was still dark, she went to the LORD.
    Anyway…rad! Always rad!

    I was just thinking too, Easter somehow feels like New Years Day.

    PS: Last night on the phone with my mom, her grandaugher (13) informed her that her and her brother (15) got baptized yesterday at sunrise service in Hawaii (with ukulele’s playing – honestly) They gave their hearts to Jesus about 5 years ago, but this was out of the glorious blue. Its funny how you pray for people sometimes in panic, and GOD will send a gift and remind you, I have this!

  35. 85
    Janet Cline says:

    As your writing so often does, this post took me to a mountain where I saw my strong and powerful God! Today, it’s back to the valley to walk moment by moment!!
    Thank you!

  36. 86
    Sharon says:

    Woo! Might I say powerful! Your post for some wild reason (which doesn’t at all compare) made me think of waking my own son. He had to be up way before sunrise, while it was still deep in the dark, I had to go into his room and get him up. I picture God as He watched His Son while He lay sleeping… thinking that His body had lain and slept long enough! Your words gave a whole new visual to the words “Get UP”… because though Your work, dear Son, is done… there’s still more work that You need to do! 🙂 There were people who needed to see Him… and God was gloriously good into showing off His One and Only Son! And why? Because He was about to RAISE some other people UP and wake those sleepers from their sleep! He had more bodies to raise… more souls to save! Oh yes, indeed, a mighty fine and Glorious Day!

    We love you, Beth! Thanks so much for sharing this! Happy Passover!!!

  37. 87
    Angela says:

    So Beautiful Beth, how do you keep the resurrection at the forefront of your family celebrations in the thick of commercialized eggs ‘n’ bunny hooplah? I would veto Easter Bunny/Santa Clause, but my in laws (and my husband) would be aghast. Talk to us about it if you feel led. Thank you!!

  38. 88
    Judy Smith says:

    Written from a heart that truly, truly loves the Lord. Thank you from a heart that you have helped to truly, truly love the Lord.

  39. 89
    Toni says:

    Love it! I always get such a tickle (well, sometimes deep conviction too!) out of the details of scripture. I was blown away by that “while it was still dark” phrase and wrote about it in 2008. I don’t know if we’re allowed to post links, but I’d love to share it with whoever ends up reading through the posts. You can read it here: http://www.thatsbeyondme.blogspot.com/2010/01/while-it-was-still-dark-march-25-2008.html

  40. 90
    Melissa Ford says:

    Hallelujah and Amen!!

  41. 91
    theHarborMom says:

    I just love the thought that God could not wait any longer! Thank you, Beth!

    Diane

  42. 92
    karen lipford says:

    Beth, we are so blessed that God has filled you with such great insight. And even more blessed that you even care to share it with us. Thank you!
    HE is using YOU sister and I’m grateful to you both!

  43. 93
    Dora Chatam says:

    My pastor yesterday tried to explain this verse (Matt. 12:40): “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” He said his vote would be that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday and spent Wed., Thurs. and Fri. nights & Thurs., Fri., and Saturday days in the grave. He likely arose sometime after sundown on Saturday, but nobody went to the tomb to notice that He was no longer there. Makes perfect sense to me!

    • 93.1
      Dora Chatam says:

      Well, it made perfect sense until I re-read scripture and it talked about it being Preparation Day — the day before the Sabbath. So I’m still confused about the 3 days and 3 nights in the grave. Maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention when my pastor explained it yesterday!

  44. 94
    Betty M says:

    Dearest Beth, I just bet God was watching to see what qualified for third day and that was it!! Good thought!! We spent yesterday late afternoon and all eve in an ER. Our son who is a long term leukemnia survivor is having horrific headaches and has been for years now one time he had a gran mal seizure and ended up hospitalized for a week. He was so confused yesterday it was scarey. We went to church and when he was trying to butter his bread with a piece of ham we decided that was it. Waiting in ER is always tough! We know we have been there so much through the years. I said last eve that it has been three years since we have visited an ER too long for us!!!! Anyway Brian is almost 40 and lives with us as he has alot of major problems, but, well the Dr informed us that he will age much faster than normal with such a damaged brain. The crainial radiation from years ago has left it’s mark. So, when he gets sick there will be much mental confusion and I am wondering how long before we see him exhibiting dementia to the point where he needs to be in a home. He is a very kind and patient young man and has been though so much but God is always there. He even made the wait last eve seem tolerable so we are rejoicing in the fact Brian does not have a possiblity of stroke. There was noone who could comfort God in His wait but thank Him He is there for us in our waits!!!Love to you Beth, Betty M

  45. 95
    Margie says:

    This made me so happy! I could read it over and over again. That wild and crazy story is the very basis for the hope we have. Praise God!!!

  46. 96
    Karen says:

    I just now had an observation about Beth’s post…. so true to her personality her post are most always in bold print while others who post are not. :+) Since I am an early riser, I do so enjoy this post. Thank you.

  47. 97
    Rachel says:

    Holy Spirit bumps all my arms!!
    I love this, I love that God was already risen in those dark moments before the dawn! I love that the Lord knows what it is to wait and to long for those he loves – such encouragement in a time of personal loss of my beloved papa last week who FINALLY after 91 years of waiting was able to enter the presence of the risen Lord! AMEN!

  48. 98
    Jennifer says:

    Thank you, Beth, for that wonderful post. It was so encouraging and life-giving! He is alive, and we are alive with Him forevermore! Thank you, Jesus, for giving your life so that we could live, really live!

  49. 99
    Susan says:

    Susan, Virginia Beach
    Thank you Beth for this! I had never considered this before and love the image you painted of God in the early morning hours.

  50. 100
    Leila Hollingsworth says:

    So intrigued am I with Mary M. Every few years I portray her in costume for my Middle School Girl’s Sunday School class on Easter morn. They eat it up!
    How my spirit is uplifted to think that the first person Jesus visited on that grand morning was one of his female followers. What does that say to us about His regard for womankind? What does that say about our capacity to love him? That took real courage to be there in the garden at His tomb. She had no regard for the danger she could have faced, she just HAD to be there! Oh, that I may have that same devotion!

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