Do you know that God thinks about you? Psalm 8:4 affirms this truth when we hear the Psalmist say, “What are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?” The Psalmist is amazed that the Creator of the Universe thinks about and is attentive to mere humans. But it’s true. God thinks of us.
The day of our first date, I knew Thom was hooked. He sent a dozen roses to my office with a card that said, “How can I concentrate on work knowing that I will see you tonight?” I saw stars and heard violins immediately. Why? Because I knew he was thinking of me. It was an awesome feeling to know that I was occupying Thom’s thoughts. I felt like the most special girl in the world. His thoughts toward me were so strong that he called a florist and spent some money! He made an investment. He tried to show me what he was thinking. He demonstrated his love when those flowers hit my desk.
It ought to wow and delight us to know that God thinks about us. What is He thinking? Scripture gives us a glimpse: Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We see from this verse that God thinks about bringing peace, blessing, security and hope into our lives.
As I read the resurrection story, I see evidence that Jesus was thinking about us.
Jesus thought about those who were diminished and distressed.
When you put all four gospels together, you see that Jesus’ first appearance after the resurrection was to four women. These women were no doubt distraught over Jesus’ death. Along with the twelve disciples, they were faithful followers of his. In that day, a woman’s witness was considered worthless, but Jesus put these women in the position of being the first to testify about the Resurrection. Jesus treated women differently than those of his time. We know he spent time with them, healed them, and included them in those he taught and in those that were close to him. By appearing to women right after the Resurrection, Jesus was communicating worth and value to all people who were diminished or devalued by society for any reason whether gender, race, or any kind of status.
We know Mary Magdalene was one of those women. Jesus had cast seven demons out of her. No one had been more disenfranchised from society than she had been. But Jesus freed her and gave her new life, and she followed him.
I’m sure Jesus knew Mary Magdalene was distressed and that she was wondering what would become of her. If the One who freed her was dead, what would happen to her? Would the seven demons return? Would she remain free? Would she slip back into isolation and become an outcast again? Was she destined to become tortured again by evil spirits? What did Jesus’ death mean for her?
By appearing to Mary Magdalene and the other women after the resurrection, Jesus shows us He was thinking about those that society had written off as unimportant and who were distressed about His death. He wanted them to be reminded that they were important to Him and that their healing, their deliverance, their salvation was intact. The death, burial and resurrection of Christ secured it forever.
Maybe you feel insignificant this morning. Maybe like Mary Magdalene you’re asking yourself, “What will happen to me now?” Maybe life’s circumstances have beaten you down and you’re sitting on the sidelines instead of being involved in the good things God wants for you. God is saying that because Jesus “got up” you can too. There is sadness and hurt and pain in this life, but Jesus lives and He is thinking about you. He wants you to know that His presence in your life doesn’t ever have to be interrupted and that He’ll never leave you or forsake you. You don’t ever have to be alone because of the Resurrection. He wants you to know you matter to Him. He sees you. Yes, you.
Jesus thought about those who were defeated and distraught.
Scripture also indicates that Jesus thought about those who would be feeling the shame and guilt of denying or betraying Jesus. Mark 16: 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'”
Do you see that Peter is singled out? Peter was one of the disciples, and yet Mark 16 says, “Go tell his disciples AND PETER.” Just before the death of Jesus, Peter had denied knowing Jesus. He had abandoned Jesus in his deepest hour of need. He had failed.
Scripture says he knew what he had done and he wept bitterly. Have you ever had one of those moments? You made a snap decision and before the events are even set into motion, you know you did the wrong thing and you regret it. You hit the “send” button on the email that you think will “set someone straight,” and after you hit that button you wish you could take it back. You speak those words to someone and even as they are leaving your mouth, you know you’ve messed up. Peter knew he had failed the Lord. He regretted it deeply right away.
Jesus had every reason to hold a grudge, to punish Peter, or even to cast him off, but He loved Peter. He proved that He forgave Peter by sending a special message through the angel just for him. By singling Peter out, he was reassuring him that he was loved and that everything was okay because He, Jesus, had risen. He was still Peter’s Lord and Redeemer. They could start over because of the Resurrection.
Do you need a “do over” this morning? Maybe you once followed Jesus closely, but for whatever reason, you have slipped away. Jesus is here to say, “It’s okay. We can start over. I still love you. Quit beating yourself up, and let me forgive you.”
Jesus thought about those who had doubts.
John 20:25 recounts the story of Thomas who doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead. We read where he said, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus knew that Thomas needed a first-hand experience. He knew he was a skeptical kind of person. Something about Thomas’s perception skills or the way he processed information prompted an “I need proof” mentality. That didn’t bother Jesus, and it didn’t diminish His authority. He simply made himself available for Thomas to investigate so that Thomas could see for himself that it was true.
Maybe you’re here this morning and you’re just not quite sure. We could spend time arguing the evidence of the Resurrection this morning and discussing that:
there were living witnesses
there was a broken Roman seal on the outside of the tomb which was unheard of
there was an empty tomb
somehow a large stone had been rolled from the tomb’s entrance
Roman guards keeping watch over the tomb were now gone
Jesus’ grave clothes were still in the shape of His body
Jesus’ appeared to over 500 people
The disciples and many others go on to preach about the Resurrection even though it could and did in some cases cost them their lives
That sounds like enough evidence to me to convict Jesus’ of the Resurrection, but even if not, Jesus is willing to make Himself available to you personally. You don’t have to take my word for it or anyone else’s word for it. Jesus will prove Himself to you.
What does Jesus think about you? He thinks you are worth dying for. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 You have been on God’s mind since before you were born.
As a poet has said:
Before U were thought of or time had begun, God stuck U in the name of His Son.
And each time U pray, you’ll see it’s true. You can’t spell out JesUs and not include U.
You’re a pretty big part of His wonderful name. For U, He was born; that’s why He came.
And His great love for U is the reason He died. It even takes U to spell crUcified.
Isn’t it thrilling and splendidly grand He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?
The stones split away, the gold trumpet blew, and this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.
So that’s it. God is thinking about you. He’s thinking, “She has an amazing future.” He’s thinking, “He has every reason to hope.” Like Thom was with me the day of that first date, God is preoccupied with you. Just like Thom made an investment and paid a cost to demonstrate his feelings, so has God demonstrated His love towards us by sending Jesus to die to pay the price for our sin, even while we were sinners, the Bible says Christ died for us. That makes me feel like the most special person in the world every day.
Whether you are diminished and distressed, discouraged and defeated or doubting that any of this is even possible, God is thinking about you. The question you need to answer is simply, “What are you thinking about God?”
Psalms 40:17 in the Living Translation says, “17 I am poor and weak, yet the Lord is thinking about me right now! O my God, you are my helper. You are my Savior; come quickly, and save me.
The Psalmist got it. He knew that the One who was thinking about Him was also the One who could help and save Him. He made a choice to let God take control of His life. You too, have a choice. I could have called Thom after I received those flowers and said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” I could have said, “I know you’re thinking of me and want to be with me and spend time with me, but I’m going to wash my hair tonight.” My life would have not only been completely different, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed the life and ministry I’ve had if I would have declined his offer.
I’m telling you as sincerely and purposefully as I know how that the God of the universe thinks about you and what your life could be like if you would let Him take control of it. Will you let God not only think about you, but will you let Him save you and help you and give you a future filled with purpose and hope today?