John 20:10-12, NIV
10 Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11 but Mary
stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to
look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where
Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.


May 5, 2012
Peter and John went home. Mary stayed. Once she was alone, Mary
cried. Her love for Jesus and her grief were showing. Wearing her
down. Alone, she didn't have to project a good, strong, brave image
of herself. With no one else around, she let the tears flow.

 

She went again to look into the tomb. and this time she saw angels.
This was odd. They were not there earlier. Peter and John had not seen
angels. There were two of them, seated where the body had lain, one
at the head and the other at the foot.

People reading this or hearing Mary's account would wonder if this were
her imagination. All those tears in her eyes blurred her vision. All the
love in her heart blinded her head to the reality of the situation. She may
have had these same thoughts..

 

                                            John 20:13, NIV
13 They [the angels] asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
"They have
taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know
where they have put him."
 

May 5, 2012
Not only did Mary see angels, she had a brief conversation with them.
They exchanged questions. Mary, why are you crying? The angels
knew something Mary did not yet know. They have taken my Lord away
and I don't know where they put him
. In other words, do you know? Can
you help me?

 

                                             John 20:14, NIV
14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but
she did not realize that it was Jesus.

 

May 6, 2012
Here's where Mary realized she was not alone in the garden that
morning. By this point in the story Mary was not behaving in her usual
manner. Distressed that the body of Jesus was not in the tomb where
they had laid him on Sabbath's eve. Bearing all the uncertainty of not
knowing and not having any recourse to finding the answers to her
questions. Suddenly seeing two bright angels and talking to them. 
And now finally being startled by a stranger who invaded her private
space. It would not be an exaggeration to say she was in a high
state of anxiety. How much more could she take!

 

                                              John 20:15-17, NIV
15 "Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are
looking for?" 
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."

16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried
out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said,
"Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father."


May 7, 2012
More questions directed to Mary. Actually the same question asked by
the angels just a few minutes earlier. Mary why are you crying? The
implication is: Mary you should not be crying; there is no reason for you
to be crying. Which sounded very strange and not at all comforting to
someone as distressed as Mary was at this moment.

Thinking the questioner was the gardener, she explained her concern,
asking where he had put the body and expressing her desire to have
the body in her care and keeping. That's when Jesus spoke her name.
Immediately Mary recognized the voice and reached out to him in
relief and joy.

Jesus' response to her actions leaves much room for theological
interpretation. All of which takes away from the impact of this
resurrection encounter. Mary had found her Lord. He was alive. He
had spoken with her. Never mind, what he said. She didn't understand
it and neither do we and it doesn't matter right now anyway.

Jesus was standing before her. Loving her once more. Fully known,
Mary was fully loved. What more could anyone ask?

 

                                              John 20:17-18, NIV
17 Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned
to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am
returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have
seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things
to her.


May 8, 2012
Do not hang on to me or to this moment, Mary, but go instead to the
others and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to
my God and your God.'"

Again we can argue the fine points of this sentence, but better to step
back and view the big picture. Jesus is going home to his beloved
Father in heaven. To the one he called his God and we also call our
God. That was the message Mary Magdalene was to take to the
disciples.

But when she got there, her bottom line was very simply, "I have seen
the Lord." Which is the testimony of everyone who has had an
encounter with Jesus. It's her opening line, and then Mary added all
that had happened to her in the garden that first Easter morning.

Jesus was going away. Mary and the other disciples were staying.
They were to go and tell. That was 2,000 years ago. Things still stand
pretty much the same. Jesus is physically apart from us. He went away.
We are here. And our instruction is to go and tell what we have
experienced, and how we have "seen" the Lord.

Jesus is alive. He is not in a tomb, dead nor stolen. He has gone to
his Father. Christianity has this wonderful twist. It is a resurrection faith.
Death is like a comma; resurrection is the exclamation point. Death is
swallowed up in victory. Defeat, failure, decay--these things are never
the final word. Because He lives, we too shall live. It's a message that
spans across the ages and into our daily lives. Like Jesus said, a
kernel of grain falls into the ground and "dies", but then it arises into
a new life much greater than before.

                    <prev                                                                    next>