“Chase me, Daddy!” Greyson calls out in his sweet, two-year old voice. “Chase me!”
His brothers follow in unison. “Chase us, Daddy!”
I’ll pretend like I don’t hear them as their anticipation begins to rise. Then, in a sudden movement, I’ll jump up and watch them scatter in three different directions, laughing as they run.
We usually end up wrestling in a pile on the floor.
They could do this for hours.
I wish I could say the same. I usually wear out before they do.
Even more, I’m exhausted. It feels like I lack the mental and physical energy to constantly engage.
However, I try to soak up every minute because I know my boys won’t always want to play with their father. That’s a heavy reality to be reminded of, but one I must prepare for. And that’s why I need to chase my boys.
If I may be so bold, every father needs to chase his children.
We need to chase after their little hearts every day, assuring them of our love for them, our pride in them, and our hope for their future.
But it can’t start there.
Our chasing after them has to start with a chasing of our own.
I’ve been reading through the Gospels this week, trying to insert myself in the story; an attempt to see Holy Week through the eyes of the disciples and feel the weight of the cross.
In very vivid language we see the disciples struggle to understand the reality of Jesus’ ministry. They want so desperately to believe, but they battle the tension of an earthy king versus a heavenly King–an earthly father versus a heaven Father.
Yet as they begin to believe, they watch their friend and their teacher be crucified before their eyes. It was a gruesome death. The death of a thief. The death of a murderer.
John stood in the crowd watching his friend hang on the cross. And of all places, he stood beside Jesus’ mother, Mary. This shows me the love and passion these individuals had for each other.
After Jesus’ death, his body was prepared for burial in the tomb, and there He lie for three days.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running… – John 20:1-4
This imagery met me head on, like a collision with my soul.
These disciples were running–they were chasing something.
John reaches the tomb first. I see him fall to his knees, barely able to make out the strips of linen cloth, as he squints his eyes in the early morning light. These were the cloths used to wrap Jesus’s body and they were lying on the ground.
His chest contracts from his heavy breathing; his heart races from the chase and from the anticipation.
Could it really be? Just a few days before – on Friday – he had watched his friend die. He had looked upon the One they had pierced.
About that time, Peter catches up and runs past John into the tomb. It’s empty.
These men are chasing the truth.
John slowly rises to his feet and steps into the tomb to see for himself.
Could it really be?
In his own account of his experience, he used these words:
He saw and believed. (verse 8)
No spectacular imagery. No name-in-lights. No fireworks. No chorus line singing Hallelujah.
Just an empty tomb.
And John believed.
He saw clearly the picture Jesus was painting all along.
Seek and you will find. (Matthew 7:7)
Then the thought hit me: chasing the truth leads to belief.
Chasing is difficult. We end up tiring out and running becomes too difficult, so we stop. Or, there may be something that side tracks our chase and we end up running in a different direction.
These discouragements have a way of tarnishing the truth and we often end up chasing the wrong things in pursuit of an alternative.
Too often, we only feel the weight of Good Friday and the pain of the crucifixion. Jesus knew that’s how we’d feel. That’s why He didn’t stop there. He wanted to show us that we are worth chasing.
The tomb is empty. The stone has been rolled away. He isn’t held captive by death, He overcomes it. He’s no longer bound to the suffering, he’s free. He’s loose.
And that’s why we must chase him.
As I think back to my boys, they simply request, “Chase me, Daddy!”
In a world full of distractions, “Chase me.”
And today, I smile because I know that Jesus asks the same.
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