Nof Ginosaur was originally a kibbutz, and our group stayed there as we explored the Galilean area in January. Pastor Dresselhaus toured Israel as well in March, and he mentioned Nof Ginosaur, the Sea of Gailee, and Magadala, which was the home of Mary Magdalene. Jesus healed Mary of seven demons. Pastor Dresselhaus delineated three “tender moments” with Jesus and the intellectual reasons for following Jesus.
Eighty per cent of Jesus’ ministry was spent in the valley of the western shores of the Galilee
and the Decapolis, the Greek area. Faithfully after being healed of the demons, Mary followed Jesus and was in Jerusalem during His crucifixion. Her heart was broken at His cruel death. She was desperate to see Him and at the fourth watch between 3:00am-6:00am, she visited the tomb, where she found the giant stone, and John told in his gospel that he beat Peter there. Peter went in first; then John saw the burial clothes and the face cloth that were undisturbed. Pastor Dresselhaus said,”John saw and believed.” It was a tender moment where his “heart exploded with deep understanding and affection.”
The second tender moment also occurred at the open tomb. One angel asked Mary why she
“‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ’and I don’t know
where they have put him.’ At this she turned around and saw
Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
He asked her, ’Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ’Sir, if you have carried
him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.’
Jesus said to her,’Mary.’
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic,’Rabboni!’
(which means ‘Teacher’). John 20:13-17 (NIV)
This tender moment was where Jesus revealed Himself first to Mary which was not as the world operated. Women were not the status of men at that time, but Jesus knew her heart, and He spoke to her first. Her heart exploded with affection and hope.
The third tender moment was on the Road to Emmaus. In Luke 24:13-35 it told of two men who were talking about the prophet from Nazareth who died on the cross. As they were talking Jesus came up and walked along side them. He asked them what they were discussing, and they wondered why He did not know about what happened in Jerusalem. As they approached their village, they invited Jesus to eat with them. Jesus at the table “took the bread, broke it, and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened.” Their hearts were burning inside them. It was a moment filled with understanding and hope. This encounter gave them the opportunity to know Him in a new way-a fresh way, a deeper way.
The reality of the risen Christ changes everything. If the resurrection is true , everything is true. If the resurrection is not true, nothing is true-all His claims are false! So what proof is there?
The first proof is where Jesus appeared to 500 plus people from the resurrection to the
ascension as shown in Acts 1. Why would the disciples willingly die martyrs’ deaths if Jesus had not defeated death? They wouldn’t have. 1 Corinthians 15:6 Their first reaction to His crucifixion was to run and hide. After the resurrection, they were emboldened and went out and spread the Good News.
The second proof of His life and resurrection was found in the 24,000 pieces of evidence. The hand copied manuscripts are 99.5% actual words of the New Testament. The Dead Sea Scroll also are proof of the authenticity of the Word.
Finally, that same Spirit that raised Jesus is in us. “We are justified by His blood and saved by
His resurrection power,” stated Pastor Dresselhaus. Christ is in us, and we are in Christ. Paul
”I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,
but Christ lives in me. The life which I now live in the body,
I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and
gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
Also in the future 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 proclaims
“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom
to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority
and powers. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies
under his feet.” (NIV)
The dead will be raised; the mortal will be transformed to the immortal. Death will be defeated.
The LORD wants that none should perish. We can have a tender moment with the LORD-one
that deepens our relationship with Him and an intellectual realization of the validity of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Thus, we can be light and salt in this dark, broken world.
Written by Larry & Annette Linthicum