John Chapter 20 Lesson 1
When You Got Saved, Your Life Changed!
The new normal is a catch phrase that politicians use to try to say life irreversibly changed and we don’t know how it will turn out. Such as it was for the first century Christians. Life irreversibly changed moments after the resurrection and they didn’t know what to do. They had to deal with their new life as Christians in a way we never would have to. They had no Bible, no pastor, no YouTube or Google to consult. They had to see Jesus in a new way, they were now able to forgive sin, they had to figure out the workings of the Holy Spirit among many other things. This was now the normal way of life for the next two thousand years.
Why is this important to you? Your life irreversibly changed when you accepted the reality of the resurrection, too. And just like the apostles, you’re going to have to figure out how to deal with your new life in Christ, too. This is part of being Kainos Ktsis – a new creation!
What changed with the resurrection?
What didn’t? Religion changed. Christianity was the new normal. The role of the Savior changed. He wasn’t rabbi any longer, He was (and is) the Risen Savior, High Priest and intercessor. The nature of “redemption” or “salvation” changed. Sins were no longer just covered, they were forgiven – and by the common person. The Holy Spirit was breathed into existence on earth. First century Christians had to figure out who the third person of the Trinity was, who was now guiding, guarding and directing their lives. Covenants immediately changed. The Old Covenant was no longer valid, the New Covenant was the new norm. And, to top it off, who am I? Am I a Christian or a Jew or Both? Life for the first century Christians changed at the moment of the resurrection never to change back.
How do you see Jesus?
In the days preceding the resurrection, Jesus was a different man. The Sanhedrin saw Him as a insurrectionist, the Romans thought He was innocent, the townspeople thought he was a great healer, but the disciples knew Him as Rabbi. But when He was resurrected, He took on a new role, He became our High Priest and intercessor seated at the right hand of the Father. As a new Christian, how do you see Him? Here’s how His followers saw Him in the new normal.
In the Gospel or John, Chapter 20 verse 1, Mary Magdelene “saw” the empty tomb. Mary was healed by Jesus and walked with Him throughout Judea. You’d think that she would be the first to believe and understand the “kainos” or new resurrected Jesus. The word here is the basic Greek work for seeing on object, “blepo.” Then the Apostle John, the apostle that Jesus loved, initially looked (blepo) in the tomb (v5) . But then he looked again and believed (v.8). Looking in and believing are two different Greek words “eidon” and “pisteuo.” Eidon mean basically to look at the evidence and pisteuo means to believe. But Peter looked in the tomb and he “theorized.” This “seeing”means in Greek “to see with the mind or head”. So Peter theorized. It took Mary Magdelene two encounters with the risen Christ before she fully came understand who he was and what had happened (v. 11-18). Mary used the only term she knew to pay respect to the risen Christ. She called Him “rabboni.” In the new normal, we would call Him Savior.
Later that evening, Jesus transcended time and space by walking through the walls that divided the disciples from the world. The disciples became apostles when they saw Jesus, looked at the evidence (His glorified body, walking through walls and His wounds) and believed. Eight days later, Thomas did the same thing.
What does this mean to us in our world? How did you first see Jesus when you were saved?
There are some that are like the Apostle John, that are quick to believe. He looked at the evidence and believed. Something quickened his spirit and touched his heart and that is all he needed to believe. Peter saw the same evidence and tried to understand with his mind, it wasn’t until he saw the risen Lord later that evening that his mind and his heart crossed paths. Mary is so like many of us that she had to have two personal encounters with Jesus before she understood and believed. Others need to see a “miracle.” In other words, so many see Jesus as a “slogan” used at Christmas, Easter, funerals and weddings. No power, nothing personal, just nice words. These potential believers need to know that a situation in their lives was so profoundly changed that it could only be Jesus. Which believer are you?
Wonderfully and curiously, the risen Lord then told the Apostles that we today are more blessed because we have not seen Him, but believe anyway.
See Jesus as the risen Lord was the first part of the new normal for first century Christians. They also needed to understand believing in a new way and the entry of the Holy Spirit.