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I am not sure I remember Easter falling on April Fools’ Day in my lifetime. Oh, not that it hasn’t happened, it’s more that I don’t remember it if it has. That is definitely a problem of growing old (just one of many, but that list is too long to recount here). In Mark 16, we have an account of the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus. In verses 1-8, we have Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome going to the tomb to anoint Jesus. They were wondering how they were going to roll the stone away because it was quite large. But, when they arrived, the stone had already been moved. When they entered, there was a young man dressed in white that told them not to be amazed.  He told them, “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.”  Then they were told to go and tell the disciples and Peter that He was going to Galilee and that He would see them there, just as He had told them. But when they left the tomb fear had gripped them and they told no one.

Then, in verses 9-13, we have an account of Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene and she went and reported to those that were with Him, while they were weeping and mourning. “And when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.” He then appeared to two of them while they were walking on their way to the country.  They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.

Then He appeared to the eleven and reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. He then gave them the Great Commission which is “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”  When Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

After reading this account and thinking again of Easter falling on the first of April this year, I couldn’t help but place myself in the shoes (sandals) of His disciples. Would I have readily believed that He was risen, that He was alive or would I have thought that this was a cruel joke to play on us. After all, I saw Him die. I witnessed Him being placed in the tomb. Oh, I wouldn’t have been standing near Him, I would be hanging well back, fearful of being recognized, fearful of punishment, fearful of my own death. The only way I could possibly believe that He was risen is if I saw Him with my own eyes, heard Him with my own ears, and touched Him with my own hands. And then, it happened! HE IS RISEN. HE IS RISEN INDEED!  

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Proverbs 7:6-23

I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 15 years old The person that lead me to the Lord suggested that I start my devotional life by using Proverbs because it was an easy book to use (31 chapters, no more than 31 days in a month). So, the first day of the month was chapter 1 and so forth, easy. And, as a new Christian, I was hungry to learn and Proverbs was easy to read. What a great combination!

When I first read this chapter as a 15 year old boy my thoughts on this particular portion (6-23) were about what a bad person this woman was. She is working the streets while her husband is out of town, dressed as a harlot, looking for someone to take to her home for her own pleasure. She is brazen, cunning, conniving, treacherous, and most of all, as we see in verses 24-27, deadly. What I gleaned from this passage was that I should stay away from this kind of woman.

I used Proverbs for my quiet time for the first twelve months after I was saved. I read a lot of Scripture during that time, but I poured over what I was studying in Proverbs. The seventh day of every month I was in chapter 7 and reading about this “nasty” woman. But, every time I read this passage something else would jump out at me. For instance, this naïve boy is hanging around after dark with other boys and he then just happens to pass through the street near her corner and then takes the way to her house before they even meet! At this point, I am agreeing with Shakespeare “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. Then, the thought eventually struck me that maybe this really isn’t about a boy meeting a wanton woman. Maybe it’s about how sin captures us “as a bird hastens to the snare” and we “do not know that it will cost us our life”. It was not long after that that I Peter 5:8 was brought to my attention. It reads “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Sounds a lot like our woman in Proverbs does it not? “She is boisterous and rebellious; Her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares; And lurks by every corner.” She sounds just like our adversary, does she not?

And the boy? He was out looking and his looking got him snared! Be on the alert.


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