How wonderful, how glorious! Mary Magdalene didn’t know that’s how her morning was going to play out! Can you imagine Mary’s surprise when she saw the stone was moved away from the opening.
When the unexpected happens, we often freeze. But Mary immediately ran to find help. I can almost picture what happened when she found Peter and the other disciple. She was out of breath, trying to get each word out amidst her confusion and fear. She blurted out, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
The disciples believed Mary despite the fact what she said was incredible. Yet, they had to see for themselves. As they were surrounded by an empty tomb with Jesus’ grave clothes left behind, it was if Jesus’ words came rushing back to them. Up to this moment, they had not been able to wrap their heads around Jesus’ message, “for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.” It was a beautiful a-ha moment. They simply went home.
I’m curious whether they said anything to Mary before they left. She was obviously overcome with emotion and needed consolation. She wanted desperately to see Jesus, to pay her respects and just be with him. Then, Mary noticed the angels. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Did she wonder who they were? It appears she answered quickly, still believing someone had taken Jesus’ body. Distraught. Her grief may have been turning to anger.
And then, in her despair and grief, Jesus spoke to her. Mary didn’t recognize him at first. Perhaps it was because she was blinded by her tears. Certainly she didn’t expect to see him standing there talking to her. She clearly hadn’t had the same recollection the disciple had had about Jesus being raised from the dead.
Close your eyes and imagine seeing Jesus face to face in this moment. You aren’t necessarily expecting to see him either.
What did Jesus say to you? Did he find you in a moment of weakness, loneliness, or fear? Hope is restored.
It’s good news. The tomb is empty. Jesus is risen just as he said. Our hearts can rejoice. As followers of Christ, we are never alone.
Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for your great sacrifice and for breaking the chains that keep me captive to sin. You paid the price for me and rose from the dead to give me life eternal with you. May my words and actions be honoring to you. The world needs you, Jesus! Use me to remind them. Have your way with me and shine through me. My heart is singing to you, my risen King! In your precious name. Amen.