In John 20:1-10 the Bible tells us “on the first day of the week” Mary Magdalene discovered that the tomb in which Jesus was laid after His crucifixion had been unsealed. When she reported this to the disciples Simon Peter and John, we read, they ran to the tomb with John out-running Peter and getting there first. Upon looking into the tomb, John saw the linen cloths lying where Jesus had lain in death, but he did not enter. It was Peter who entered the tomb first and saw these same linen cloths as John, but he also saw the facecloth that had been on Jesus' head neatly folded up (or rolled) and lying "in a place by itself". Afterward, the two disciples went back to their homes, believing what they had seen, but not yet understanding the scripture "that He must rise again from the dead". (Psalm16:10&Luke24:46)

            John 20:11ff reveals that Mary Magdalene remained at the tomb and wept. As she "investigated" the tomb she saw two angels, in white, sitting where Jesus had been laying, and inquired of them regarding where Jesus had been taken. As she was conversing with the angels, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, although, initially, she did not know that it was Jesus. After a dialogue with Jesus and her recognition Who He was, she went and announced to the disciples that she had "seen the LORD” and what He had said to her. Subsequently, Jesus physically appeared to His disciples, as He had to Mary Magdalene, showed them his wounds and the disciples clearly understood that they had seen Him. After revealing Himself to one disciple who had not been in His presence earlier, Thomas (aka Didymus), upon touching the wounds in the hands and side of Jesus, said "My LORD and my God!" (v.28)

            John 20:29 contains Jesus' response to Thomas, which are some of Jesus' most important words for those who are believers. He said: "Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed." (ESV) Thesae few words are deeply profound because they form the basis or foundation of the Christian faith! "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through (by) the word of Christ” (or "God" - NKJV). (Rom. 10:17) "Now faith is the assurance (substance) of things hoped for, the conviction (evidence) of things not seen." (Heb.11:1) Hebrews 11:6: ”Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God, must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that the resurrection of Christ provides the hope of resurrection to life eternal for all of us who are in Christ. (1st Corin.15)   He also informed the church (1st Corin.11:23-26) to do what Jesus instituted (Matt.26:26-29) and eat the bread and drink the cup "in remembrance of" Him to "proclaim the LORD's death until He comes" (as He promised in John 14:1-3). Further, we learn from Acts 20:7, as well as 1st Corin. 11:20ff, that the church came together on the "first day of the week" to eat the bread and cup (in modern times often called "The LORD's Supper”).            

            The Ripon church of Christ lives and worships by faith! We believe that Christ was resurrected from the dead and have faith that He will resurrect us to life eternal. We believe that Jesus' sacrifice was important enough to honor each, and every, first day of the week, not just once, or a few times, a year. Yes, we come together on every LORD's Day to honor and remember and proclaim Christ's life, death, burial, and RESURRECTION until He comes and drinks it "new" with us! (Mark 14:25) May The Good LORD and our Savior, Jesus the Christ (Messiah) bless us as we live our life of faith and seek to do His will always!


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