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He is Ours

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I wrote this blog post weeks ago but never posted. The day I wrote this, my morning devotional took me to John 20:11-18 where Jesus, after having been crucified, buried, and raised, appears to Mary Magdalene at the entrance of his empty tomb. As we are going through the book of John on Sundays, this weekend we came to this text. Although there is a lot in this passage, and I would commend the sermon in its entirety to you HERE, what stood out to me is in verse 17 when Jesus gives Mary instructions to go and tell his brothers, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Jesus tells Mary that His Father is her Father. That His God is her God.

Over and over in the Old Testament, God says this of his people: I will be their God and they will be my people. (Ezekiel 14:11, Zechariah 8:8, Jeremiah 31:33, Leviticus 26:12, Exodus 6:7 is a small sampling.) In these verses, God reveals himself as so deeply personal. His people belong to him AND he gives himself to them.

Look again at John 20:17: “My Father and YOUR Father, to my God and YOUR God.” Isn’t that staggering?!

My kids always prompt the most thoughtful conversations. Last week while driving in the car, one of them asked, “How does the earth float in space?” How, indeed?! We had a brief discussion on the gravity and tension that exists between the planets and the sun that suspends them in space. One minor detail out of place, and the universe comes crashing down (Isaiah 40;12, Job 37). Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” I go here often when doubt of God’s existence creeps in. How can we look at something as intricate and astonishing as the universe, and not believe in an intelligent designer? It is God’s general revelation. And it reveals a majesty so breathtaking.

I think we often become too familiar with the words of the Gospel that we lose the wonder and awe of WHO is at the center of it, and that this very important WHO invites us in. “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3. Think about that. The radiance of the glory of God, the exact imprint of his nature, he who upholds the universe by the word of his power... THIS is who claims us, a rebel people, as his own? And he likewise gives himself to us? How incredible!

When I dwell on the wonders of this spectacular, powerful, almighty God, when I remember that Jesus, who made purification of my sins through his sacrifice, is the exact imprint of God’s nature, and when I remember this is the same God who calls me his own and who I am allowed to call mine, I am awestruck. My awe is in the same way, albeit I’m quite certain to a significantly lesser degree, as David when he proclaims, “What is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:4. Truly, who are we? What an utterly undeserved, yet glorious identity we as Christians can claim. We are His and He is ours.

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