Everything Changes

 Passage: John 20:1-18

(Read John 20:1-10)

There is a well known saying that goes “It is always darkest just before the dawn”. I can’t begin to imagine what Mary and the disciples went through that morning but I imagine that it felt pretty dark.For three years they had invested their whole lives in Jesus. They’d given up friends, family, jobs and security to follow him.They’d seen Jesus do amazing things: Thousands and thousands had been fed with a loaf and a few small fishes. There had been miraculous healings, amazing teachings and even people raised from the dead. They had learnt from Jesus, been challenged and stretched by him in ways that they had never expected.

And then suddenly it was all over.

Jesus was dead – murdered

The text in colour is a personal story – We suggest you replace it with a similar story of your own.

I recently went to the funeral of a lady who I’ve known for years. Her name was Pam. Pam
was well into her 80’s and still full of life and energy until she found out that she’s been
diagnosed with cancer for the third time. This time there was no fighting it and she passed
away a few weeks later. For me the worst bit about funerals is the sense of finality – family
and friends gathering to say goodbye to someone they had seen for the last time. This is
what the disciples were going through.


Then, early in the morning, before the sun has risen, they visit the tomb to find that Jesus’ body has gone. Insult to injury. Salt in the wounds.

(Read John 20:11-18) 

I don’t know if you have ever found yourself in a situation where it felt like all hope had gone. Like there was nothing you could do anymore to make things better. If you have then maybe can relate to what Mary was going through.

But it is at that lowest moment that Jesus appears – Mary is so caught up in her grief that she doesn’t recognise him until he says her name: “Mary”In that one moment Mary goes from darkness to light. Sorrow to joy. Despair to hope.

Everything changes as resurrection Sunday dawns.

In the verses that follow this passage the disciples go through a similar experience. It is an experience that transforms them from a scared group of barely believers to a bold community that would go on to change the world as they shared the good news.

Why? How?

Because the resurrection changes everything.

Death is dead!

Hope is alive!

At Pam’s funeral the thing that struck me at the end of the service were the songs that we
had sung. Pam had chosen them herself and they were all, without exception, songs about
resurrection, songs about new life. Because Pam had a strong faith and she knew that the
resurrection means that everything changes! 
The resurrection means that no matter how dark it gets, no matter how lost or trapped or scared we feel, no matter how lifeless our situation has become, when we hear Jesus’ voice in the middle of it there is hope!

The stations that followed this talk are:

The Tomb

The Garden

New Life