Our Lenten Devotion for Monday, April 11, comes to us from Steadfast Love which features reflections and prayers by Ed Arle and Gil Duchow with inspiration from the works of Henri J.M. Nouwen.
34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.
“O dear Jesus, looking at your wounded side, I see blood and water coming out. The one who first saw it, saw it as a sign that you were the one about whom the scriptures spoke and passed on what he had seen so that I, too, might believe in you of whom no bone is broken and look up at you whom they have pierced.”
(from Heart Speaks to Heart by Henri J.M. Nouwen, page 39Henri)
The local evening news may call itself “Eyewitness News,” focusing on eyewitness accounts at the scene. John was there at the cross as an eyewitness, along with the faithful women. He saw the soldiers pierce Jesus’ side and witnessed the flow of blood and water. On Easter morning at the empty tomb, he observed Jesus’ graveclothes lying there neatly folded, as if Jesus had vanished into thin air (John 20:6-8). Later, John recorded many of the words of Jesus he had heard, as well as detailed descriptions of events he had witnessed. Near the close of his Gospel, he testified about the central purpose of the Scriptures: “These are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31)
All of the Gospels record the journey of Jesus life. John’s Gospel helps us to remember that what we read there is very likely the record of an eyewitness to the mysterious empty tomb. Why was the tomb empty? Did it really happen? What could it possibly mean? John also says that the Gospels were written, so that we might know that Jesus was alive after having been crucified. Also, these become a reminder that Jesus still lives among us even now. I invite you to consider where we see the Christ among us even today?
Holy Spirit, we thank you for inspiring the biblical writers to record your Word for all time, and for assuring us that “these words are trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:5). Amen.