See and Believe

“Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.” –John 20:6-8


He saw and believed.

Saw what? Strips of linen and a neatly folded head wrap.

Believed what? That Jesus was no longer there. Scripture is unclear as to exactly what John believed, but it’s safe to say that he, at least, believed the earlier report from Mary that Christ was missing from the tomb. Maybe he believed more deeply, that, in fact, Jesus had been resurrected. Regardless of the depth of his belief, one thing was for certain–

Jesus was no longer in the tomb. This fact remains.

Jesus is no longer in the tomb.

Why, then, do we so often treat him as if he were still there . . . assign him to his grave, keep him locked up behind stone as the voiceless, immovable Jesus? Hesitantly, quietly we whisper our unbelief: If only he’d been the one.

I know it sounds harsh. Who of us as Christians would ever admit to keeping Christ in the tomb? I’ll admit it. Sometimes I don’t give the resurrection the respect it’s due. Every time my unbelief gets the best of me, instead of making my way to the tomb to behold Christ’s resurrection, I often make my way to the cross to take hold of his death. Certainly, both truths—the death and resurrection of my Lord—are equally important to any story of faith. But when my journey of grace stops short of the empty tomb, I’ve missed the rest of the story.

That rest of the story? Resurrected life. Life beyond the cross. Life beyond death. Life lived most radiantly and confidently because of the empty tomb.

Let us not stop short of the tomb this Lenten season. Instead, let us run alongside Peter and John, and let us behold what they beheld; let us believe what they believed.

Jesus is no longer in the tomb. Instead,

  • Jesus is alive and well and sitting at the right hand of his Father.
  • Jesus is alive in us through the power and indwelling of his precious, Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus is here.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

Believe and be blessed, friends. As always . . .

Peace for the journey,

6 Responses to See and Believe

  1. Without question…one of your best posts! How true. I have stopped short of the tomb more times than I care to count in my life. It seems the devil uses difficult times to con us into doing that. Get behind us Satan. The tomb is empty and HE is alive!! Praise God!

  2. So thankful we have a living Lord to call on. When moments of unbelief cloud my thinking, I quickly echo the words from scripture “Lord, I believe — help thou my unbelief!”

  3. wifeforthejourney:

    Honesty can be painful. For most, our comfort zone exists behind a firmly fixed smile, an abundance of activity (or at least looking busy) and keeping our conversations as brief as possible. Let someone get too close and they might see through to our well disguised doubts and fears of God’s faithfulness. That’s what makes your post “edgy” here – that you are willing to call us out – how we talk about Easter, but so often live as though Jesus is still in the grave.

    Thanks be to God for the gift of His Holy Spirit. May the witness of the Spirit of God be near us in this season of Lent, to work in (and on) our hearts that Jesus IS alive and that our God can be trusted.

    Love you,

    PS – In the name of being “edgy” myself, here is a link to a telling piece of music from Deitrick Haddon called “Ungrateful.” Preacher Billy loves his black gospel music, and while it is far from anything traditional sounding, your writing today made me think of this song.

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