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Opinions of Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Columnist: Dr. Daniel Gyebi

Looking for Jesus

Ever since the beginning of creation, man has been looking for someone or something. God gave man dominion over all creation, almost everything required to satisfy his desires, wants, and needs, but man was still looking for someone or something.

Satan took advantage of man’s insatiable appetite and curiosity and created doubt for man to disobey God and operate outside of God’s original plan and purpose.

We now have a mixture of good and evil, or righteousness and sin among us. As a result, who or what we are looking for in this life may be good or evil or a combination of both.

Meanwhile, we continue to look in all areas, including religion and whom to worship. Mary Magdalene, too, was looking, and it ended up well for her. The Savior whom she loved and followed had been crucified and buried in a tomb.

The Bible tells us in John Chapter 20 that Mary woke up in the morning, while it was still dark, looking for someone or something. She went to the tomb where Jesus was laid and was looking for the dead body of Jesus Christ.

I do not know how many people in Ghana who are bold or comfortable enough to visit the cemetery alone in broad daylight looking for a dead body. Mary did so, alone, early in the morning while it was still dark. The love, devotion and bravery of that woman!

To her initial disappointment, however, the body of Jesus was not there. As she stood there crying, perhaps thinking that the Roman soldiers had taken the body away, Jesus appeared and asked her, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” (John 20:15). Mary was looking for Jesus. Who or what are you looking for today?

Right from the time Jesus was born, many people looked for him. The three wise men looked for Jesus and when they found him, they worshipped him. Wise men of today are still looking for Jesus; some have found him and are worshipping him. Are you one of them? If not, would you join them?

There are also those who looked for Jesus for reasons not including salvation of their souls. King Herold, for example, looked for Jesus, but for the wrong reason. He wanted to kill Jesus. Others looked for Jesus for his miracles. They heard or saw that Jesus turned water into wine, blessed food to feed thousands of people, gave sight to the blind, healed the sick, and raised the dead. They were not necessarily interested in Christ’s message of love and salvation.

Others, too, simply did not know or understand the mystery of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Even the disciples of Christ did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead (John 20:9). The disciples were with Jesus and listened to his teachings for three years and still did not understand some of the fundamentals about Christ’s mission; that is, he came to die to save mankind from our sins and that he would rise from the dead in three days. Similarly, after several years of Church membership and attending Church services and other Christian activities, many of us do not understand that salvation of our souls should be our primary objective, and we obtain it by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

All of us at different stages or times in our lives have been looking for different people or things to satisfy our desires, wants, and needs under the prevailing circumstances. Each of us should include Jesus in whoever or whatever we are looking for.

In part for getting up early while it was still dark to look for Jesus, Mary Magdalene was rewarded by being the first person to whom Jesus appeared after he resurrected. It is noteworthy that Jesus first revealed himself not to Mary, his mother; or Peter, the rock; or John, the beloved disciple; or any of the disciples, but to Mary Magdalene, a woman from whom he had driven seven demons. It was Mary Magdalene who was charged by the resurrected Jesus to tell the good news of his resurrection to the disciples. Her love and devotion were recognized and rewarded by Jesus. Jesus did not see her as a previously demon-possessed person, but as a loving child of God.

Similarly, you may not be a pastor or an elder or a holder of a leadership position in your Church, and may be doing some obscure things for humanity that are not recognized or admired by others, but your love, devotion, and service to Christ and the Church may not go unnoticed by the Almighty. You may find some comfort in the words of Horatius Bonar in the second stanza of the hymn, “Go Labor On.”

Go, labor on! ’tis not for naught Thine earthly loss is heavenly gain Men heed thee, love thee, praise thee not; The Master praises: what are men?

Mary went to the tomb in the morning while it was still dark looking for the dead body of Jesus Christ. She did not find the body, but she found something better – the resurrected Christ! Who or what are you looking for today? May the Almighty God help us find whoever or whatever we are looking for according to his will. And may the Almighty God point us in the direction of Jesus Christ and open our eyes to find and worship him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ was, is, and will always be alive. Jesus Christ is risen. Look for him. Happy Easter.

Prayer is the key. May God grant us the grace to seek Him daily through our prayers.

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