Where Have You Put Him?

Where Have You Put Him? An Easter Message for Today's People

This morning, we see Mary, a woman of great faith, overcome with emotion, wanting nothing more than to see the body of her Lord. For her, it wasn’t just another day; it was a somber day, one filled maybe with fear, images of great pain, and perhaps a loss of hope and joy. Have you ever lost someone you loved? What would you give for one more conversation, phone call, hug, or one more minute of their time? Many of us have lost people we loved. We feel that sense of loss urgently at times. Not knowing what to do, who to talk to, or who to go to. Maybe Mary felt the same way. Sitting there in an empty tomb all alone, wanting nothing more than one more Old Testament scripture reading, one more parable, one more smile, laugh, or story shared with Jesus.

I try to put myself in her shoes. How would I feel? What emotions, physical feelings and perhaps even agony might I be experiencing. Remember that Mary didn’t think Jesus was a prophet, to Mary Jesus was her Savior, her RABONI, teacher, and friend too. This man meant more to her than more of the words on these pages could likely express the amount of love she had for Him. Similar to the amount of love many of us feel for our Savior and friend.

What Mary didn’t know that morning is that her Savior hadn’t been taken. Her Savior’s body hadn’t been stolen, moved, or carried away in the night. No … what she didn’t know was the plans that God had. You see Mary is just like you and me. We can’t see God’s plans that He has for our life. God does one thing consistently in the Bible, He shows up; sometimes in unique and in unexpected ways. And in the midst of her tears, an angel appears to Mary. Mary didn’t at all seem surprised by this, she just weeped. She was overcome with sorrow. She just wanted her Lord’s body to be found, that is all. She turns and she asks the angel “Where have you taken Him?” Not realizing that it was Jesus.

More aptly … where have you put Him? What was Mary saying? Where did you take Him? Where has He gone? Where is He? Mary doesn’t yet understand and hasn’t recognized that Jesus is standing there. So, how do we put that in our present-day context? Let’s think for a minute. Each of us has a life and day-to-day tasks, and some of us have assignments given by others or ourselves. We have an itinerary, a way of living, and a way of life. But let me ask you … where do you put Jesus?

Is Jesus at the first part of your every day? Do you STOP and make the necessary appointment with the Divine to put WORD before WORLD? Or do you just fit Jesus ‘in there somewhere’ where He fits in and throughout your day?

Let me ask you again … Where did you put Him? Hopefully, Jesus isn’t just locked away in your heart. We all want Jesus there, but if you’re not sharing Him, what good is He to the world, your friends, your neighbors, your family? Sure, He may be helpful to you, but Jesus wasn’t meant to be locked away, or He wouldn’t have appeared to Mary, Peter, John, and Thomas too!! He would have resurrected, and that would have been the end of it. He wouldn’t have appeared to anyone; there wouldn’t have been proof of who He was as the RISEN Lord. He would have just returned to His Father, but that’s not what He did. He appeared on the Road to Emmaus … to His friends who had lingering doubts and questions but loved Him still. He appeared multiple times because people needed to understand who He was, what He had done, and that He was the ONE TRUE KING, MESSIAH, & SAVIOR they had been waiting for: ‘didn’t our hearts BURN within us.’

Where do you put Him? Do you have enough faith to say that you must have Him…see Him…feel Him…have Him be a part of your life? Is He a part of your day-to-day? And I don’t mean just a part of scripture you read because of your devotions. But do you encounter Jesus on the street? Do you think about how Jesus would act in a moment of truth or conviction? Do you wonder what Jesus would do in a moment of uncertainty? Do you ever stop and wonder? 

Encountering the living Jesus should make you stop and think every time because His sheep recognize Him by His voice. Only some situations are easy or straightforward, but every one is different. Judas is Judas because somewhere along the way, while walking side-by-side with Jesus, he lost his way. He became disenfranchised with doing the right thing. Maybe it was the money; maybe it was all the people constantly by Jesus’ ear begging for help and healing, or maybe it was Jesus Himself. We may never know, but even people close to Jesus can falter, lose their way, or make a misstep. But make no mistake that even Judas spoke to Jesus, ate with Jesus, laughed with Jesus, and heard His parables.

We all need to learn better ways to forgive, offer grace, and be more of Jesus in a world that is breaking away from the Church more and more every day. If people don’t come to Jesus, then we take Jesus to them. That’s what Mary did so long ago. Why? Jesus simply asked her to do it: “go and tell my disciples.” Don’t we have the same message to GO AND TELL?! Shouldn’t we too ‘go and tell?’ We even sing a hymn about this very thing!

Her Lord and her Savior was taken away from her. All she wanted to do was see Him, just one last time, see Him, honor Him, cherish Him, and cry over His broken and perished body. And it was in that moment, her moment of tears, frustration, & grief, that Jesus appeared to her. At His empty tomb, Jesus was where Mary was, full of love and compassion for her. Isn’t that where we need to meet people … not just today, but every day. People will wrong us; I have wronged people, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try or get back up and keep going, trudging forth, and being as Jesus was. Jesus ROSE for you and me. Where have you put Him? I pray you take close stock of your life and make only Jesus Christ and Savior of your life. There is no other Savior. No one else is coming to save you; He already did, and He already paid the price. You have already been redeemed; there is no other freedom or gift coming. Today, He AROSE for you; take that message to heart.

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