The other day I heard a great knock-knock joke. It goes like this: “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Control freak. Now you say, ‘Control freak who?’”
You know someone who likes to be in control, don’t you? Like the husband who entered the kitchen to find his wife just beginning to fry two eggs. He says to her, “You can’t fry two eggs in the same pan, there’s not enough room!”
He looks in the pan and says, “Did you put butter in the pan? I told you to put butter in the pan when you cook the eggs!”
The wife starts to flip the eggs and the husband says “You can’t flip with that spatula, use the other one.”
Frustrated, the wife turns to the husband and says, “I’m 46 years old. Don’t you think I know how to fry an egg?” The husband says, “Well, yeah. I just wanted you to know how I feel when I’m driving.”
Know the feeling? There are some things we can control in life and there are some things outside our control. Sometimes we have to trust. Jesus did. There’s not much you can control when you’re nailed to a cross. So when death was about to overtake him he knew he had to relinquish control to his Father. “And Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.’”
Jesus entrusted his dying moments to God. Three days later Mary entrusted her daily moments to God. Let me explain. Mary came looking for Jesus only to find the tomb empty. Even though Jesus had told his followers he would be raised on the third day, she wasn’t expecting an Easter celebration. When she looks into the empty tomb she only sees two angels. They don’t seem to bother her too much. (Maybe like me she lives with an angel every day.) What bothers her is that there is no body. She wants to know where it is so she can go get it.
You’ve got to like her spunk. Somehow she is going to find the body and carry it by herself and get it back to where she can anoint it. That’s when she hears these words: “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?” She thinks it’s the gardener. But it’s the risen Christ. And his first words to her include a question that is a question for a resurrection life. “Who is it that you’re seeking?”
Many look for a Jesus who isn’t there. A Jesus who died and was not raised from the dead. A Jesus who will conform to our ideas of what the Messiah should be. A Jesus who will give us our “fill of loaves,” one that is here to make our lives safe and secure.
Mary found that the dead body of Jesus was gone. In its place was the resurrected Christ. But when she heard him call her name she responded with these words: “‘Rabboni!’ — which means ‘Teacher.’” Mary sees the risen Jesus as the one who is worthy of “Teacher” status. One she can give her Monday through Saturday to, not just her first Easter Sunday.
There’s something you’re trying to control in your life today and it’s not working out. You’ve tried to control your spouse. Or your children. Or your co-worker. Whatever it is, you’ve found that there are some things you can’t control. There are some things you can’t fix. Your marriage. Your work. Your neighbor. Your debt. And you’ve come to the point you’re saying, “I can’t do this anymore.”
Then maybe today is the day you let Jesus become your Teacher and you give it to God. You are either looking for a Jesus you can control or a Jesus you give control to. Resurrection life is life lived under God’s control. Someone who can come back from the dead is someone I want to tell me how to live life.
And if that’s what you want too you can begin by looking for the risen Christ, the Lord. Then say, “into your hands I entrust…my spirit…my life…my family…my finances…”
If you’ll trust him with your dying moments you’ll trust him with your daily moments.
Question: What Jesus are you looking for?