In the chilly dampness of the early morning hours, a woman gropes her way through the dark city streets of Jerusalem. Carrying only a small oil lamp to light her way, Mary Magdalene is joined by Joanna, Salome, and Mary, the mother of James. Leaving the city, they wend their way to the dew-moistened garden where Jesus had been buried.
Dressed in their mourning apparel and blurry-eyed from their tears of grief, they enter the garden of the tomb, carrying the spices to anoint Jesus’ body.
The first glints of sunlight peek over the horizon as they approach the tomb. Suddenly, the ground shakes violently as an angel appears and rolls back the large stone covering the tomb’s entrance.
The angel says, “Do not be afraid; Jesus is not here. He is risen! Go and tell the others.”
Terrified, Mary Magdalene rushes to get Peter and John and returns with them to the tomb. With their hearts pounding in fear and lungs struggling for air, the men enter the tomb and frantically survey the surroundings until their eyes turn to the stone slab, where only the death cloths lay.
Seeing that the body of Jesus is not there, the disciples rush back to tell the others.
While the other women wait outside the tomb, Mary Magdalene stoops down to look inside. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she turns to leave and encounters a man, who asks, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
Assuming him to be the gardener, “‘Sir,’ she asks, ‘if you have taken Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will go and get Him.’” (John 20:15 NLT)
“Mary,” He whispers compassionately.
Recognizing a familiar voice, she gasps, “Rabboni!” and falls at His feet in worship.
I have been a Mary Magdalene. . .a follower of the Lord yet not being able to find Him. I wandered around for relentless hours, with stinging tears spilling down my cheeks, weeping in pain, sorrow, and loss. I searched the tomb of the world and found it emptied of dreams, hopes, and purposes.
My restoration came when I realized my Savior stood beside me all along, compassionately whispering my name. When I heard His loving voice, I fell at His feet in worship.
Have you ever been a Mary Magdalene? Do you weep over loss of dreams, hopes, or purposes? Pain, sorrow, or circumstance? Do you stand at the tomb, wearing the grave clothes of mourning, wondering where Jesus is?
Just as Mary Magdalene met Christ in an unexpected way, so your Easter experience comes to you in your hour of despair. Jesus will be there beside you to comfort you, compassionately whispering your name and asking, “Why do you weep? Whom do you seek?”
Jesus always brings you hope of resurrection as on that first Easter morn. He comes to lift you up, to wipe away your tears, to release you from your pain, to remove your grave clothes of fear and depression.
Jesus says to you, “Do not wear the grave-clothes stained with the tears of grief. Come into My garden of beauty and I will give you the robe of Easter’s resurrection gladness. Take My Hand and let Me lead you along the path to life everlasting. I gave My life that you might live eternally with Me.”
He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NKJV)
Do you believe this? Then, weep no more! Fall at His feet and worship Him!
May you know the power of Christ’s Resurrection Life in a deeper way this Easter season.